NASA will provide complete coverage as three space travelers living aboard the International Space Station, including a Russian actress and her producer-director, return to Earth just after midnight on Sunday, Oct. 17.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos will be at the controls of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, flanked by Russian actress Yulia Peresild and Russian producer-director Klim Shipenko, for the spacecraft’s undocking from the station’s Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module Saturday, Oct. 16. The trio will make a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan a little more than three hours later, at 12:36 a.m. EDT (10:36 a.m. Kazakhstan time) Sunday, Oct. 17.
Coverage of the crew’s farewells, undocking, and landing will air live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app at the following times (all EDT):
- 4:15 p.m. – Farewells (at about 4:35 p.m.)
- 9 p.m. – Soyuz undocking and a replay of hatch closure (undocking at 9:14 p.m.)
- 11:15 p.m. – Deorbit burn (11:42 p.m.) and landing (12:36 a.m.)
After landing, the crew will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, before boarding a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft to return to their training base in Star City, Russia.
Peresild and Shipenko arrived at the station Oct. 5 aboard the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov for 12 days of filming their movie, “Challenge,” under a commercial agreement between Roscosmos and Moscow-based media entities. They served as spaceflight participants during their stay on the orbital complex.
Novitskiy returns to Earth after 191 days in space on his third mission that spanned 3,056 orbits of Earth and 80.9 million miles. At the time of landing, Novitskiy will have logged 531 days in space on his three flights.
When the Soyuz undocks, Expedition 66 will formally begin aboard the station. Remaining aboard the orbiting outpost will be commander Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency), NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, and Mark Vande Hei, JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.