ISS Crew of Meir, Morgan, Skripochka Set to Depart on Soyuz for Earth Return: Watch Live

ISS Crew of Meir, Morgan, Skripochka Set to Depart: Watch Live
NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir flank Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos for a playful portrait in the weightless environment of the International Space Station. Credits: NASA

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – The Expedition 62 crew is set to depart the International Space Station today, Thursday, April 16 and touchdown tomorrow a few hours later in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 17.

The crew comprises NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and essica Meir as well as Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Departure is planned for 9:53 p.m. ET, deorbit burn at 12:22 a.m. ET and landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 1:17 am ET

You can watch the departure and landing live on NASA TV.

The Expedition 62 crew is leaving a week after the new Expedition 63 crew arrived last week leaving 3 crew members on board until the next planned arrival of NASA astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon – perhaps as soon as late May.

Here are the details from NASA:

From NASA:

NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, who has spent nine months living and working on the International Space Station, will join fellow NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos for a scheduled return to Earth on Friday, April 17.

Live coverage of their Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft’s undocking and station departure will begin at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday, April 16, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Coverage of the deorbit burn and landing will begin at 12 a.m. Friday, April 17.

Soyuz and station hatches will be closed at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, and the trio will undock from the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module at 9:53 p.m. A deorbit burn at 12:22 a.m. Friday, April 17, will put the Soyuz on course for a parachute-assisted landing at 1:17 a.m. (11:17 a.m. Kazakhstan time) on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan.

A change of command ceremony, which will see newly arrived astronaut Chris Cassidy of NASA accept station command from Skripochka, will air live at 4:55 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, on NASA TV and the agency’s website.

At the time of undocking, Expedition 63 will begin aboard the station, with Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner comprising a three-person crew until the planned arrival of NASA’s Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon on the Demo-2 flight test, becoming the first astronauts to launch from American soil to the space station since 2011.

Morgan’s 272-day mission began on July 20, 2019, with launch aboard the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft, along with Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos. His flight spanned Expeditions 60-62, a total of 4,352 Earth orbits and a journey of 115.3 million miles. During his first spaceflight, he contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development. He also conducted seven spacewalks, totaling 45 hours and 48 minutes, four of which were to improve and extend the life of the station’s Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer as it looks for evidence of dark matter in the universe.

Meir and Skripochka, who launched on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Sept. 25, 2019, will land with Morgan after 205 days in space, 3,280 orbits of Earth and a trip of 86.9 million miles. During her first spaceflight, Meir conducted the first three all-woman spacewalks with crewmate Christina Koch of NASA, totaling 21 hours and 44 minutes. Skripochka is completing his third spaceflight for a cumulative 536 days in orbit.

After landing, the crew will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where they will split up. Morgan and Meir will board a NASA plane located in the adjacent city of Kyzlorda, Kazakhstan, for a flight back to Houston. Skripochka will board a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft in Baikonur to return to his home in Star City, Russia.

Full NASA TV coverage is as follows (all times EDT):

Wednesday, April 15:

4:55 p.m.: Space station change of command ceremony, during which Chris Cassidy will accept command from crewmate Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos.

Thursday, April 16:

6 p.m.: Farewell and Soyuz hatch closure coverage (hatch closure at 6:30 p.m.)
9:30 p.m.: Soyuz undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 9:53 p.m.)

Friday, April 17:

12 a.m.: Soyuz deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn at 12:22 a.m. and landing at 1:17 a.m.)

Get breaking news, images and features from the space station on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Soyuz MS-16 lifts off from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Thursday, April 9, 2020 sending Expedition 63 crewmembers Chris Cassidy of NASA and Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos into orbit for a six-hour flight to the International Space Station and the start of a six-and-a-half month mission. Photo Credit: (NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

Watch Ken’s continuing reports onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent ULA and SpaceX launches including Boeing Starliner, Crew and Cargo Dragon, Solar Orbiter, In-Flight Abort and Starlink at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com

Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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