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Soyuz MS-16 Safely Returns ISS Trio Back to Earth

Expedition 63 has now come to a close.

Soyuz MS-16 Safely Returns ISS Trio Back to Earth
The Soyuz MS-16 landing Chris G - NSF/Twitter

A week after the Soyuz MS-17 successfully delivered a NASA astronaut and two Roscosmos cosmonauts to the International Space Station (ISS), Soyuz MS-16 has now landed safely back on Earth. 

The three international crew members who left the ISS were all safely aboard, per NASA Spaceflight

The ISS's command was handed over from Expedition 63 NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy, to Roscosmos cosmonaut, Sergey Ryzhikov, before the Soyuz MS-16 undocked and began its return journey home. 

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Return to Earth

The Soyuz MS-16 landed in Kazakhstan at 22:55 EDT on October 21, safely delivering the three international crew members back to Earth. 

The trio was based at the ISS for the duration of Expedition 63, which lasted 196 days and covered 83 million miles (133.5 million km) with over 3,136 orbits of Earth, per Spaceflight Now.

The Soyuz MS-16 comprises three modules: Orbital, Descent, and Instrumentation/Propulsion. 

The Instrumentation/Propulsion is the part that contains the primary guidance, navigation, and computer systems, as well as the propellant tanks, solar panels, and power systems. 

The Descent section is the module that carries the crew to orbit and back to Earth. And the Orbital module is accessed through a hatch from the Descent section and houses the docking mechanism, hatch, and rendezvous antennas. 

Expedition 64 is underway in the ISS

The team has now been brought to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, before Cassidy is flown back to Houston, in the U.S., and Ivanishin and Vagner will head to Star City in Russia, per Russian newspaper, TASS.

After landing, Cassidy has now completed his third space flight with a total of 378 days in space, Ivanishin has completed 476 days, and Vagner has finished his first space flight with 196 days in total, per NASA Spaceflight.

And now, Expedition 64 is underway in the ISS, with Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov as Station Commander, and Flight Engineers Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Dr. Kate Rubins from Roscosmos and NASA, respectively. 

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