MOSCOW, September 14 (Itar-Tass) —— The Federal Air Transport Agency has accumulated search-and-rescue forces in Kazakhstan for ensuring a safe landing of the Soyuz landing module. The touchdown of the Soyuz TMA-04M crew is scheduled for early morning of Monday, September 17.
“Three planes (Antonov An-12 and An-26), twelve Mil Mi-8 helicopters, six evacuation vehicles, and more than ten auxiliary vehicles will make sure the landing is safe,” assistant to the agency head Andrei Pryanishnikov told Itar-Tass on Friday.
The 31/32nd crew of the International Space Station (ISS) – Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin of Russia and Joseph Acaba of the United States – will land approximately 86 kilometers northwest of Arkalyk.
“The aircraft cover every possible landing zone of the guided and ballistic descent of the landing capsule,” he said. Precautions have been taken even for the case of their landing outside of the territories of Russia and Kazakhstan. There are twelve landing spots in various parts of the globe. Local rescues will give first assistance to the astronauts, and the astronauts and the landing module will be returned to Russia.
The landing capsule of the Soyuz TMA-04M manned spaceship is due to land in the Kazakh steppe at 6:53 a.m. Moscow time on September 17. Operative groups of the Federal Air Transport Agency led by Agency deputy head Alexander Vedernikov will welcome the astronauts back to the Earth. They will be accompanied by representatives of the Cosmonaut Training Center, the Energia Corporation, the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, NASA, the European Space Agency and some other organizations.