Crew returns to Earth after six months on the ISS

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two Russian crewmates, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, have returned safely to Earth. The crew members returned to Earth after six months of being station aboard the ISS. They departed the ISS aboard a Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 9:34 p.m. EDT on Friday.The capsule landed safely at 12:55 a.m Saturday, southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. Rubins will be returning home to Houston, with the two Russian Cosmonauts will return to their home and training base in Star City, Russia. Next week, a news conference will be held on Wednesday, April 21, at 3:15 PM EDT with Rubins discussing her 185-day mission. The conference will be aired live on NASA television, the NASA app, and the agency website from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Rubins and her crewmates had an active mission with some significant milestones, including welcoming the first SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts for the first long-duration commercial crew spaceflight. Rubins also completed two spacewalks alongside another NASA astronaut, Victor Glover, and a Japanese astronaut bringing her career total to four spacewalks.

After returning to Earth, she has now spent 300 days in space across two flights, the fourth most days spent in space by a US female astronaut. During her time aboard the space station, Rubins spent hundreds of hours working on various experiments, including the Cardinal Heart experiment researching how changes in gravity impact cardiovascular cells at the cellular and tissue levels.

When Rubins and her Expedition 64 crewmates departed the ISS, Expedition 65 officially began with NASA astronaut Shannon Walker acting as station commander. The ISS has been in orbit for more than 20 years after reaching its 20th birthday in November 2020. The space station has been continuously crewed the entire time.