Three space travelers re-entered the Earth habitat and landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan from the International Space Station. Peggy Whitson broke NASA’s record as their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft did a perfect landing. Astronaut Peggy Whitson arrived home on Soyuz from an enhanced 288 day mission to the International Space Station.
Her stay set a novel record for the most collective time in space by an American with 665 days amassed. Her fellow crew members NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin spent 136 days on board the orbiting laboratory.
Expedition 51/52 crew members Fischer and Yurchikhin reached at the ISS in April with an empty seat in their Soyuz. Whereas Whitson arrived in November with expedition 50/51 charged the vacant seat for the return flight after NASA and Russia’s space agency Ros cosmos agreed to extend her stay through Expedition 52.
The Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft undocked from the space station’s Poisk module at 5:58 p.m commencing crew’s 3-hour and 24-minute journey towards Earth. After 3 hours the Soyuz accelerated into Earth’s atmosphere traveling at a speed of over 500 mph (800 km/h).
The temperatures outside the spacecraft touched to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. A heat protector outside the Soyuz aided in keeping the crew comparatively cool during the plummet. A series of parachutes were stationed to moderate the spacecraft down 15 minutes prior to landing, accompanied by a last-second burn of six soft-landing engines that helped buffer the last few feet of the fall.