The return of three astronauts from the International Space Station marks the end of Expedition 47

Tim Kopra assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)
Tim Kopra assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the astronauts Tim Kopra and Tim Peake and the cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko returned to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft, landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent about six months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on December 15, 2015 as part of Expedition 46.

During the period spent on the International Space Station, the three crew members have been conducting various maintenance activities and many scientific experiments. The one-year mission ended with the start of the Expedition 47 but research of various types on the Station continue.

The last few months have been intense especially concerning the arrival of space cargo ships. The situation with supplies, equipment, experiments and various hardware became complicated with the loss of three cargo spaceship in less than a year but in 2016 finally they’re all active again.

On March 26, 2016 Orbital ATK Cygnus “Rick Husband” cargo spacecraft arrived in its Orb-6 mission. After being filled with garbage in recent days, it left the International Space Station on June 14 and is currently still in orbit because NASA is conducting the Saffire-1 experiment starting a fire within it to understand how it develops in space.

On March 30, 2016 the Russian Progress M-29M cargo spaceship, also known as Progress 61, left the International Space Station to disintegrate in its re-entry in the atmosphere. Its place was taken on April 2, 2016 when the Russian Progress MS-02 cargo spaceship, in the mission also known as Progress 63, arrived.

On April 10, 2016 the SpaceX Dragon cargo spaceship arrived in its CRS-8 mission, which marks its return to activity. On May 11 it left the Station to return to Earth as it’s the only space cargo ship that can land intact to bring back to Earth samples and scientific experiments.

On Friday June 17, Tim Kopra officially handed over the command of the International Space Station to the American astronaut Jeff Williams, marking the beginning of Expedition 48. The crew will be completed with the arrival of new crew members scheduled for July 7.

Yuri Malenchenko assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)
Yuri Malenchenko assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)
 assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)
assisted by the staff after his landing (Image NASA TV)

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