A Russian manned spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) early on Friday to bring three members of the orbital station’s crew back to Earth, the Russian Mission Control said.
The Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft with ISS crewmembers Andrei Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyayev and Ron Garan was originally scheduled to land on September 8, but the failed launch of a Progress space freighter on August 24 forced the rescheduling.
The spacecraft is expected to land some 147 kilometers east of the city of Dzhezkazgan (Kazakhstan) at 08:00 a.m. Moscow time (04:00 GMT) on Friday.
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Service said a total of 17 aircraft, including 14 Mi-8 helicopters, and seven rescue vehicles would ensure the safety of the astronauts during the landing.
The three crewmembers remaining on board the ISS – Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronaut Michael Fossum and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa – are scheduled to return to Earth in mid-November.