A few hours ago, the Russian cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin and the American astronaut Chris Cassidy returned to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft, which landed without problems in Kazakhstan. They spent nearly six months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on March 28, 2013. Initially, they were part of Expedition 35, in the second half of their stay they were parts of the Expedition 36 with Pavel Vinogradov as commander of the Station.
In the months spent in orbit, Vinogradov, Misurkin and Cassidy were busy in a variety of scientific and maintenance activities. Vinogradov has carried out a spacewalk, Misurkin has carried out three of them, his first ones since it was his first experience in space, while Cassidy has carried out two of them.
Chris Cassidy was involved in some contingencies related to spacewalks. In May he was one of the two astronauts who completed an emergency work outside the station to fix an ammonia leak. At the end of July he was supposed to carry out an ordinary job but showing that in space there’s nothing normal his colleague Luca Parmitano had a serious water leak problem inside his spacesuit with consequent interruption of walking space.
In the course of those six months there was the arrival of the cargo spacecraft ATV-4, Progress 52 and Kounotori-4 and the departure of the spacecraft Progress 50, Progress 51 and Kounotori-4 . On all those occasions it was necessary to make the appropriate preparations because with each arrival it’s necessary to unload the cargo and at every departure the spaceship must be loaded with wastes. On May 28 there was the arrival of the Soyuz TMA-09M with the other three members of the crew who remained on the International Space Station.
On Monday, Pavel Vinogradov officially transferred command of the International Space Station to his colleague Fyodor Yurchikhin. When the three new crew members arrive on board they’ll complete the crew of Expedition 37, which began with the departure of Vinogradov, Misurkin and Cassidy. The scheduled date for the arrival of the new astronauts / cosmonauts is September 25.