Soyuz spacecraft leaves the ISS.
Last week the crew of Expedition 28 to the ISS boarded their Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft and undocked from the station. During a previous change of command ceremony, Astronaut Mike Fossum became the commander of Expedition 29 on the station with crewmembers Satoshi Furukowa and Sergei Volkov. After a day of maneuvering and changing altitude, the Exp 28 crew fired braking thrusters and headed for re-entry through the Earth's atmosphere.
Soyuz return capsule safely deployed its parachute. Great photo of the capsule passing the Moon in the sky.
Engineers in both the USA and Russia have been concerned about the schedule of launching personnel to the ISS, after two incidents with the second and third stages of the Soyuz rockets. Management in both agencies agreed that the Expedition 28 crew should return as normally scheduled.
Touchdown! A bit rougher than a shuttle landing, but for now the only way.
The returning crew arrived back on Earth Thursday and were safely and quickly recovered from their spot in the Russian wilderness. Good work Expedition 28!