Alert: The Soyuz space capsule is on the ground

Alert: The Soyuz space capsule is on the ground

A crew of three had left the International Space Station and was headed back to Earth.

After 115 days aboard the International Space Station, three people are back on the ground when the Russian Soyuz space capsule safely landed with astronaut Kate Rubins of NASA, Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi aboard. The capsule landed in Kazakhstan at around 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, Oct. 30. That was just before midnight on the east coast of the United States.

It was the end of Expedition 49 and the start of Expedition 50, as a new crew just relieved them on the station. Expedition 49 launched back on July 6 for what ended up being about a four-month stay.

It was the first spaceflight for Rubins and Onishi, but Ivanishin had visited the ISS back in 2011 with Expeditions 29 and 30.

The visit included a spacewalk to install an international docking adapter, a huge step forward for the ISS as it will allow commercial vehicles to dock at the station in the future, and thus pave the way for handing off the ISS to private entities.

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