A few hours ago astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques and cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft, that landed without problems in Kazakhstan. The three of them spent a bit more than 6 months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on December 3, 2018 as part of Expedition 58.
During the time spent on the International Space Station with Expedition 59, the three crew members conducting various maintenance activities and many scientific experiments. On April 4, the Russian Progress MS-11 cargo spacecraft reached the Station. On 19 April the American Cygnus cargo spacecraft reached the Station in its NG-11 mission. On May 6, the American Dragon cargo spacecraft reached the Station on its CRS-17 mission and came back to Earth on June 3.
During that period, four spacewalks were completed. On March 22, Anne McClain and her Expedition 59/60 colleague Nick Hague took 6 hours and 39 minutes to replace the batteries of one of the Station’s power channels on one of the solar panel arrays and to perform some other maintenance operations. The operations on the new batteries were completed on March 29 by Expedition 59/60 astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch in 6 hours and 45 minutes. On April 8, Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques took 6 and a half hours to establish a redundancy in the Canadarm2 robotic arm’s power supply and install cables to enhance the coverage of both wired and wireless communications outside the Station. On May 29, Oleg Kononenko and his 59/60 mission colleague Alexey Ovchinin took just over 6 hours to carry out maintenance work outside the Station and retrieve some experiments.
On Sunday, June 23, Oleg Kononenko officially handed over the command of the International Space Station to the Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, marking the beginning of Expedition 60. The crew will be completed with the arrival of three new members, scheduled for July 20. The crew rotation is now back to normal and the next changes are scheduled due to new long-duration missions.