The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Monday, November 19, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Astronauts touch down in chilly Kazakhstan steppe

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Three astronauts touched down in the dark, chilly expanses of central Kazakhstan onboard a Soyuz capsule Monday after a 125-day stay at the International Space Station.
NASA's Sunita Williams, Russian astronaut Yury Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide of Japan's JAXA space agency landed at 07:56 a.m. local time northeast of the town of Arkalyk.
Eight helicopters rushed search-and-recovery crew to assist the crew, whose capsule did not parachute onto the exact planned touchdown site due to a minimal delay in procedures.
Another three astronauts remain onboard the space station and are to be joined next month by NASA's Tom Marshburn, Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency, and Russia's Roman Romanenko.
The Soyuz remains the only means for international astronauts to reach the orbiting laboratory since the decommissioning of the U.S. shuttle fleet in 2011.
Williams, Malenchenko and Hoshide undocked from the space station Sunday at 1023 GMT to begin their return to earth.
Around 28 minutes before touchdown, the three modules of the Soyuz craft separated, leaving the 2.1-meter tall capsule to begin its entry into orbit.
A series of parachutes deployed to bring the capsule to gentle floating speed.
Winds pulled the descent module on its side in the snowy terrain, which is a common occurrence, but the crew was nonetheless swiftly hoisted out by the recovery crew and lifted onto reclining chairs and swaddled in blankets to shield them from the 12 Fahrenheit degree (-11 Celsius degree) temperature.
The chairs are designed to afford the astronauts comfortable acclimatization after months of living in gravity-free conditions.
"For me everything was very good," a smiling Williams told recovery staff, speaking in Russian.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

HeraldNet highlights

Rocking all over again
Rocking all over again: Heart guitarist Roger Fisher pours soul into new project
Better for knowing you
Better for knowing you: Hall touched the lives of many people, including a Herald writer
Hoop skills
Hoop skills: College students on break teach finer points of basketball
Keeping it wild
Keeping it wild: Camano family honored for farm stewardship
SnoCoSocial