New blog from André: ‘Bye bye Dan, Anton and Anatoli. See you on Earth’
Farewells as the departing crew enter their Soyuz spacecraft to return to Earth
André Kuipers sent a new blog entry reflecting on the undocking of the Soyuz TMA-22 last Friday. On board the departing spacecraft were NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin, who safely landed in the Kazakh Steppe some three and a half hours after the undocking. He writes:
"Yesterday Dan, Anton and Anatoli left. We worked all night. I drew blood from Don and myself and collected saliva samples to be sent back on the the Soyuz to the scientists on Earth. Around six o’clock in the morning Western European time we said our goodbyes. At ten to seven we closed the hatch to their Soyuz. At exactly 10:18:30 they detached from the ISS to travel back to Earth. I heard the latches release and felt a small shock when springs pushed the Soyuz away. A little later I saw the Soyuz descend on its way to to a safe landing in the Kazakh Steppe, a little before two o’clock in the afternoon."
In view of the upcoming Olympics in London, ESA, NASA and UKSA have taken the unique opportunity to extend the legacy of regular exercising and healthy lifestyle to over one hundred children and their parents and teachers who have come to London from the 4 corners of the globe to participate in the Mission X 2012 Olympic special event.
Although ESA astronaut André Kuipers recently closed the Mission X 2012 challenge from the International Space Station, the key messages that Mission X stands for continue to spread with the London 2012 Olympics.
Children and delegates of countries participating in Mission X gathered in London for the three day event. They visited Cambridge and the Institute of Astronomy on Thursday. On Friday, the children to performed Mission X exercises alongside British Olympian Montell Douglas and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli. This event was broadcast live <www.ustream.tv/nasaedge>
An ESA gala dinner and a visit to the Royal Observatory in Greenwich will also feature in the packed programme for the fit Mission X explorers.
Mission X is an ongoing global programme which promotes health in children aged 8-12, a demographic increasingly susceptible to obesity due to lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Video replay: Soyuz TMA-22 lands safely in Kazakhstan
Some three and a half hours after undocking from the International Space Station, the Soyuz TMA-22 landed safely in the Kazakh Steppe at 13:45 CEST (11:45 UT). On board were Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin who returned to Earth after just over five months in space.
View of the ISS from Soyuz TMA-22 following undocking (credit: NASA TV)
The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft has undocked from the International Space Station marking the end of Expedition 30 and the start of Expedition 31.
The Soyuz spacecraft separated from the ISS at 10:18 CEST this morning, on board are Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin who have started their journey back to Earth. Oleg Kononenko is now officially commander of the ISS.
The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft is scheduled to land in the Kazakh Steppe at 13:45 CEST (11:45 UT).
ISS crewmembers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin are preparing to return to Earth. They entered their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft earlier this morning. The hatches to the International Space Station were closed at 7:12 CEST and they will undock from the ISS at 10:18 CEST (08:18 UT), landing in the Kazakh Steppe some three and a half hours later.
The undocking of the Soyuz marks the official start of Expedition 31 for the crew remaining on the Station: Station Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and André Kuipers. In mid-May they will be joined by Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin who will launch and arrive in the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft.
André performs the FOAM experiment (credit: ESA/NASA)
Over 1500 students in four European cities talked to ESA astronaut André Kuipers live on the International Space Station last Tuesday to discuss two space science experiments they have performed together.
This once-in-a-lifetime experience brought together the four sites by videoconference: science centre Nemo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the Leicester National Space Center, United Kingdom, Parque de las Ciencias in Granada, Spain, and the Technik Museum in Speyer, Germany.
Before getting in contact with space, the centres demonstrated scientific experiments to each other. They created fire explosions and super thick foams to show students the footprints of gravity and physics in our everyday life.
The astronaut encouraged the children to satisfy their bubbling curiosity and went on to answer their questions. Solar storms, blood circulation and the water behaviour in weightlessness were among the topics tackled.
With Friday's scheduled return to Earth for International Space Station crewmembers Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin, the traditional change of command ceremony was held on Wednesday 25 April.
The ISS command was passed from Expedition 30 Commander NASA astronaut Dan Burbank to Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko. Expedition 31 will formally start with the undocking of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft at 10:18 CEST (08:18 UT).
Children in four European cities will talk to ESA astronaut André Kuipers live on the International Space Station later today to discuss two space experiments they have performed together.
The students aged 10–14 years have performed their own identical experiments to André in space to discover how convection and foams differ under the influence of gravity compared to the Station’s weightless environment.
The venues participating in the call with the ISS are Nemo Science Center, Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Speyer Techniek Museum, Speyer (Germany), National Space Centre, Leicester (United Kingdom), Parque de las Ciencias, Granada (Spain).
Follow the call with André live between 17:10 and 17:30 CEST (15:10-15:30 UT) via NASA TV.
Anton and Oleg monitor the approach of Progress 47P (Credit: ESA/NASA)
The unmanned Russian Progress 47P spacecraft docked with the International Space Station at 16:39 CEST (14:39 UT) yesterday afternoon. Launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday 19 April, the Progress delivers supplies such as food, clothes, water and fuel to the ISS crew.
The docking was monitored from the Russian Zvezda module by Expedition 30 crewmembers Anton Shkaplerov and Oleg Kononenko. ESA astronaut André Kuipers sent a photo (right) showing his crewmates monitoring the spacecraft during its approach - the Progress can be seen through the window towards the bottom of the image.
The Russian 46P Progress cargo spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station earlier today. The Progress departed from the ISS at 13:04 CEST (11:04 UT) as scheduled and is set for a destructive deorbit on 28 April.
The departure makes way for the arrival of the next Progress, 47P, which will launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 14:50 CEST (12:50 UT) tomorrow, 20 April. 47P is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Sunday 22 April at 16:40 CEST (14:50 UT).
The Russian Progress spacecraft is an automated, unmanned version of the Soyuz spacecraft used to launch the ISS crew. Like Europe's Automated Transfer Vehicle, the Progress brings supplies such as food, clothes, water and fuel to the Station. After unloading the new supplies, the crew fills the Progress with trash items, waste water and unused equipment. After undocking, the Progress and it's contents burn up during reentry in Earth's atmosphere.