NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins Safely Returns to Earth

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins emerged from the Soyuz spacecraft shortly after landing in Kazakhstan on Saturday, April 17th. NASA

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two Russian cosmonauts have safely returned to Earth after spending six months on board the International Space Station (ISS).

Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov returned aboard a Soyuz spaceship and landed in Kazakhstan on Saturday, April 17, just before 1 a.m. CET (11 a.m. Kazakh time).

Welcome Home! At 185: 55 p.m. ET (04:55 UT), Kate Rubins of @NASA_Astronauts and Sergey Ryzhikov & Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of @Roscosmos landed in their Soyuz spaceship in the steppes of Kazakhstan after 185 days in space.

– NASA (@NASA) April 17, 2021

All three were quickly extracted from the spaceship and are now undergoing routine health checks.

???? ‍ ???? Astronaut Kate Rubins is everything "High fives and smiles" when she took her first breath of fresh earth air in 185 days. On board the @Space_Station, Rubins conducted hundreds of hours of @ISS_Research, including advancing her work in DNA sequencing.

– NASA (@NASA) April 17, 2021

During her time aboard the space station, Rubins took part in two spacewalks, voted in the US presidential election, and worked on a series of experiments.

The three astronauts experienced 2,960 orbits of the earth and covered a total of 78.4 million miles during their six-month mission.

This was Rubins’ second space flight with 300 accumulated days in space. Ryzhikov has now completed his second space flight with 358 accumulated days, while Kud-Sverchkov has completed his first space flight.

Soyuz’s departure from the ISS on Friday marked the official start of Expedition 65 on board the station. The current residents of the orbiting outpost are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Mark Vande Hei, astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

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