A few hours ago, NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova returned to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft, which landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent almost six months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on September 25, 2014. Initially, they were part of Expedition 41, in the second half of their stay they were part of Expedition 42 with Barry Wilmore as Station commander.
Over the course of about five and a half months on the International Space Station, the three crew members carried out various activities of ordinary maintenance and many scientific experiments. In the period of the Expedition 41 there was a problem because the non-arrival of the Cygnus spacecraft forced to change the crew’s work schedule.
In the Expedition 42 period there was an alarm on the International Space Station on January 14, 2015 due to a possible loss of ammonia in the American section. The crew withdrew in the Russian section for several hours, until they established that it was a false alarm.
The CRS-5 mission of SpaceX spacecraft Dragon took place normally with its arrival on the International Space Station in January and its departure in February. Also in February came another cargo spacecraft, the Russian Progress 58.
February was the busiest month for the crew because Barry Wilmore and his colleague Terry Virts conducted three spacewalks in eight days. They’re part of the work to expand the International Space Station and will go on for quite some time. In the last weeks, they installed equipment necessary for communications with the new American spacecraft that will enter service in a few years.
On Tuesday March 10, Barry Wilmore officially handed over command of the International Space Station to the American astronaut Terry Virts, marking the start of Expedition 43. The crew will be completed by the arrival of three new members, scheduled for late March.