ISS Expedition 46 Crew Back on Earth After a 340 day Space Voyage

What can be more exciting than roaming about in the spirits of the universe, the void where you can find all that calmness and things to discover and explore. The same undaunted high spirit was seen on the faces of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and the spacecraft commander Sergey Volkov when they landed on the Earth on March 3, 2016 with a fiery plunge and settling to a touchdown on the grounds of Kazakhstan. 

The crew members were on the International Space Station for duration of 340 days where they were studying over the long duration space flight on one’s body which might help in future to take flights to Mars. The members of the crew were in the Soyuz TMA-18M ferry ship which was released or undocked from Poisk module. These two spacecraft sailed above eastern Mongolia after which Expedition 46 crew sailed for Earth and left the Expedition 47 cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, British astronaut Timothy Peake and Commander Timothy Kopra. 

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The Soyuz TMA-18M was undocked from the space station around 3 hours ago, before it finally plunged onto the earth’s surface. It had 25 minutes of free fall up to to a height of 62 miles above the earth succeeded by 5 minutes of extreme heating and deceleration at four times the force of gravity. When the module reached the altitude of 7 miles, the module’s parachute unfurled into a large orange and white parachute which helped to touchdown.

The Expedition 46 crew when landed on Earth in their cramped spacecraft was experiencing an unfamiliar tug of gravity, which were then attended by the recovery forces and the flight surgeons. The crew members were carried to the nearest recliner for medical checkups and to make phone calls to friends and family. Although all the astronauts are advised to maintain a fitness regime when they remain in orbit, but the return is still a bumpy ride into the “gravity land”. 

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About this downward journey back to earth, Kelly stated that although he hated the last 6 months, but for the download flight of the last 20 minutes in the Soyuz, he could do it all over again. In the space journey, Kellu and Kornienko completed 5440 orbits since March 27, 2015 covering a total of around 144 million miles whereas Volkov was for 182 days in the space. Kelly is now the most experienced U.S. astronaut in the world with his space time standing as 520 days and ranks 17th in the world.

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This mission’s purpose was to study the long term effects on the genes of weightlessness and space radiation so as to effectively set up the future trips to Mars. The medical procedures shall be carried out to generate in detail data in the early stages of re-adaptation of Kelly and Kornienko. A lot of sets of medical tests are scheduled to be done before Kelly takes his first shower and first sleepover in his own bed.
Moreover, NASA shall be conducting a brief meeting with Kelly and others to discuss over the year-long mission followed by a news conference.

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