Soyuz TMA-06M Lands Successfully-UPDATE 3

Soyuz TMA-06M Lands Successfully-UPDATE 3

UPDATE 3:  March 15, 11:50 pm EDT:   All three crew members are now out of the capsule, with big smiles on their faces.

UPDATE 2: March 15, 11:15 pm EDT:   The screen at Russian mission control says the Soyuz landed, but fog and low clouds at the landing site apparently are hampering on-site recovery crews from immediately locating the capsule.

UPDATE: March 15, 10:35 pm EDT:   The reentry is proceeding well, though weather at the landing site has deteriorated.  Landing at 11:05 pm EDT.

One day later than planned, three International Space Station (ISS) crew members are now in their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft with the hatches closed preparing for a return to Earth in a few hours.

The hatches between ISS and the Soyuz spacecraft were closed at 4:38 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).  NASA’s Kevin Ford and Russia’s Oleg Novitsky and Evgeny Tarelkin are inside Soyuz and conducting leak checks and making other preparations for undocking at 7:43 pm EDT.  Landing in Kazakhstan is scheduled for 11:05 pm EDT.

The three were supposed to return to Earth last night, but bad weather at the landing site changed those plans.   The weather has markedly improved and is said to be “nearly ideal” for the landing today.

Local time at the landing site is 11 hours ahead of EDT, so the landing will take place a little over an hour after sunrise there.  The temperature is forecast to be 15 degrees Fahrenheit, with a light wind.

Canadian Chris Hadfield is the new commander of ISS.  Today he tweeted this photo of the change-of-command ceremony on Wednesday.  Hadfield is in the red shirt, shaking hands with NASA’s Kevin Ford as command passes form Ford to Hadfield. 

Photo Credit:  Tweeted by Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield (in the red shirt) on March 15, 2013.

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