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KOROLYOV /Moscow region/, March 12. /TASS/. The Soyuz TMA-14M manned spaceship with a crew of Russian cosmonauts Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Yelena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore has undocked from the International Space Station /ISS/ and is heading for the Earth, a spokesman for the Mission Control Centre told TASS on Thursday.
The Soyuz reentry module is to land in the Kazakhstan steppe at 05:08 a.m. Moscow time.
"The Soyuz TMA-14M undocked from the ISS at 01:44 a.m. Moscow time. The flight is proceeding in routine mode. The crew feels well," the spokesman said.
Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, U.S. astronaut Terry Virts and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will stay at ISS. Virts has taken over as the ISS commander from Wilmore.
The Soyuz TMA-14M will fly in the automated mode to the designated landing place some 146 kilometres southeast of Kazakhstan’s city of Dzhezkazgan. At about 04:16 a.m. Moscow time. The ship’s engines will switch on at an altitude of about 360 kilometres and the ships will start is descend from the orbit. The reentry module’s parachute will be deployed at a height of about 11 kilometres.
About 200 servicemen, 14 Mi-8 helicopters, three An-12 and An-26 planes and six amphibious transport vehicles of the rescue team of the Central military district will backup safe landing of the space vehicle and evacuation of the crew, the press service of the military district told TASS earlier.
On the following day after the landing, after a medical examination the crew will receive presents from the company Kentavr-Nauka, the key supplier of space garments. "We have prepared souvenir polo shirts with embroidered emblem of the expedition for Samokrutyayev and Serova to remind them of their space flight," Alexander Yarov, the company’s director, told TASS.
The Soyuz TMA-14M crew fulfilled a number of works with Russia’s Progress cargo spacecraft, the European cargo spaceship ATV-5, which after undocking from the ISS was drowned in the Pacific in February. Also, they carried out a wide scientific programme.
Samokutyayev and Maksim Surayev, a member of the previous ISS expedition, made a spacewalk under the programme of the station’s Russian segment.
Four spacewalks were performed under the American programme. Wilmore took part in all of them.
The next expedition - Roscosmos /Russian Federal Space Agency/ cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly - will take off onboard a Soyuz TMA-16M spaceship from the Baikonur space centre on March 27.