MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS), who are to return back to the earth later in the day, have left the ISS and are now waiting for their departure onboard the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft, a Mission Control official told TASS on Thursday.
"Transfer hatches were closed at 5:01 Moscow time," the source said.
Later, Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky, NASA’s Randolph Bresnik and ESA’s Paolo Nespoli will make sure that the hatches are hermetically sealed and put on their spacesuits. Later, they will take their seats in the descent module.
The command to undock from the ISS is expected to be issued at 8:15 Moscow time. A minute and a half later, the spacecraft will undock from the station and begin its journey back to the Earth. At 10:45, the spacecraft will start a deorbiting burn. The Soyuz descent module is expected to reenter the atmosphere at 11:16 Moscow time and touch down southeast of Kazakhstan’s Zhezkagan at 11:38 Moscow time.
Three crew members will continue working aboard the ISS - Russia’s Alexander Misurkin and NASA’s Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba.