The return of three astronauts from the International Space Station marks the end of Expedition 55

Norishige Kanai, Anton Shkaplerov and Scott Tingle after landing (Image NASA TV)
Norishige Kanai, Anton Shkaplerov and Scott Tingle after landing (Image NASA TV)

A little while while ago the astronauts Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai and the cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft, that landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent almost 6 months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on December 19, 2017 as part of Expedition 54.

During the time spent on the International Space Station with Expedition 55, the three crew members conducted various maintenance activities and many scientific experiments. Sometimes during those activities there are trivial problems such as the one told by Scott Tingle, who in April during a routine task realized he had lost a tool and couldn’t find it despite paying attention for weeks wherever he went. Last week Oleg Artemyev, a cosmonaut of Expedition 55/56, brought him the tool he found in the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft.

The Russian cargo spacecraft Progress MS-07 left the Station on March 28 to disintegrate into the Earth’s atmosphere. On April 4, SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft reached the Station to complete its CRS-14 mission on May 5 with its return to Earth. On May 24, Orbital ATK’s Cygnus “James R. Thompson” cargo spacecraft reached the Station on its Orb-9 mission.

During that time, 2 spacewalks were carried out, but the Expedition 54/55 representatives didn’t participate. In both cases, the two American astronauts of Expedition 55/56, Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold, carried them out. These were two maintenance operations that were carried out on March 29, with a duration of just over 6 hours, and on May 16, with a duration of about 6.5 hours.

On Friday, May 29, Anton Shkaplerov officially handed over the command of the International Space Station to the American astronaut Andrew Feustel, marking the beginning of Expedition 56. The crew will be completed with the arrival of new members scheduled for June 8.

The Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft departing the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)
The Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft departing the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)

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