KOROLYOV /Moscow Region/, June 2. /TASS/. The Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft with a crew of two has been separated from the ISS and will begin return to Earth soon, Mission Control spokesman told TASS.
The two men returning on board the Soyuz vehicle are Russia’s Oleg Novitsky and the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet. Their mission began on November 17, 2016. By the moment of touchdown they will have spent 197 days in orbit.
It’s been a fantastic adventure and amazing ride. We got a lot of work done up here. Now it’s time to come back to the planet. See you soon! pic.twitter.com/NToaV0WcUY— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) 2 June 2017
The descent capsule is expected to land at 17:10 Moscow time 147 kilometers southeast of Dzheskazgan, in Kazakhstan.
A crew of three (Fyodor Yurchikhin, Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson) will go ahead with research on the ISS.
Whitson arrived at the ISS together with Novitsky and Pesquet. When Russia’s crew was reduced last spring and one seat on the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft remained vacant, her mission was prolonged till September.