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ISS crew undocks for trip back to Earth

September 16, 2011, 4:44 UTC+3
After the accident NASA and Russia's Federal Space Agency agreed to ground all ISS-bound flights until the cause was determined
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MOSCOW, September 16 (Itar-Tass) — Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut undocked from the International Space Station in a Soyuz spacecraft overnight and are scheduled to land in the steppes of Kazakhstan in Central Asia at approximately 0400 GMT on Friday.

Returning home are NASA astronaut Ron Garan and cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev. The three men lived in space for 164 days and formed half of the space station's six-man crew.

Another spacecraft, Soyuz 28, with NASA astronaut Daniel Burbank and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Anton Shkaplerov is set to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome on November 14 and arrive at the space station two days later.

Initially the liftoff of Soyuz 28 was scheduled in September but was postponed following a failed launch of a cargo ship last month. A malfunction in the gas generator in the Soyuz rocket's third stage engine caused the failure. The Soyuz and its cargo ship, called Progress 44, crashed in Siberia.

After the accident NASA and Russia's Federal Space Agency agreed to ground all ISS-bound flights until the cause was determined.

 

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