Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov , Oleg Artemyev and American astronaut Steve Swanson are to land the Russian-built Soyuz space capsule in the steppes of Kazakhstan at 10:23 p.m. EDT
The crewmates launched to the International Space Station on March 25, with Swanson commanding the outpost's mission. Three other station crewmembers — NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, cosmonaut Maxim Suarev and German astronaut Alexander Gerst — arrived at the station in late May.
During the Expedition, the station astronauts and cosmonauts over saw robotic cargo ship arrivals nd departures by Russian, European and commercial American spacecraft. Skvortsov and Artemyev completed two spacewalks, and sent a small Peruvian satellite into space.Swanson made a bit of space history by becoming the first astronaut to post Instagram photos from space.The return of Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev tonight will mark the official start of Expedition 41 on the International Space Station. Suarev will command that mission.
"We've accomplished a lot. We've had a lot of fun," Swanson said Tuesday (Sept. 9) as he gave control of the space station over to Suarev. "This was a team effort. We got together and did it as a team.” He added.