A trio of astronauts from the International Space Station have landed back on Earth safely this past weekend after a 115-day mission onboard the large orbiting lab just above our heads.
Image Credit: Dmitri Lovetsky/AFP/Getty Images
NASA’s Kate Rubins, Roscosmos’s Anatoly Ivanshin, and JAXA’s Takuya Onishi were the three to return, and they did so via a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which landed via a parachute-controlled decent in Kazakhstan at approximately 11:58 P.M. EST.
This was a particularly important mission, because during the four-months astronaut Kate Rubins was there, she would become the first person to sequence DNA from mice, bacteria, and viruses, while in space. Identical experiments occurred on Earth, so we would see how space affects DNA differently.
Also important, Rubins is the first woman to go to the international space station since Samantha Cristoforetti.
Not only was this mission a big achievement for Rubins, but it was also an important milestone for Russia because it allowed the Russian space agency to complete a full arrival and departure mission of an upgraded version of the Soyuz spacecraft.
Soon, more astronauts will be joining those already on the International Space Station as the cycle continues.
Despite plans to eventually put astronauts on the red planet, the International Space Station is expected to stay in service until at least the mid-2020’s. It’s currently our most valuable asset to learning about how space affects human health.
Source: The Guardian