The return of three astronauts from the International Space Station marks the end of Expedition 60

Nick Hague, Alexey Ovchinin and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori assisted after their landing (Image NASA TV)
Nick Hague, Alexey Ovchinin and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori assisted after their landing (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin returned to Earth on the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft, that landed in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz MS-12 landed on its side but that created no problems to its crew. The two of them spent a bit more than 6 months on the International Space Station, where they arrived on March 15, 2019 as part of Expedition 59. Together with them there was Hazzaa Ali Almansoori, who spent 8 days on the Station.

During the time spent on the International Space Station with Expedition 60, the two crew members conducting various maintenance activities and many scientific experiments. On July 27, SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft reached the Station on its CRS-18 mission and returned to Earth on August 27. On July 29, the Russian cargo spacecraft Progress MS-11 left the Station. On July 31, the Russian cargo spacecraft Progress MS-12 reached the Station. On August 6, Northgn Grumman’s Cygnus “Roger Chaffee” cargo spacecraft left the Station. On September 28, the Japanese cargo spacecraft HTV-8 reached the station.

During that time a spacewalk was completed. On August 21, Nick Hague and his Expedition 60/61 colleague Andrew Morgan took just over 6.5 hours to install an international docking adapters (IDA) that will be used for the docking of the American manned spacecraft that are scheduled to enter into service starting next year.

On Wednesday, October 2, Alexey Ovchinin officially handed over the command of the International Space Station to the Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, marking the beginning of Expedition 61. Normally, the crew members who have finished their mission return to Earth and then the crew is completed with the arrival of new members. In this case the rotation was different because astronaut Christina Koch remains on the Station for a long-term mission and this gave the opportunity to send Hazzaa Ali Almansoori to space for a short mission. For this reason, the new crew members arrived earlier and now the Expedition 61 crew is already completed.

The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft departing the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)
The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft departing the International Space Station (Image NASA TV)

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