After spending 204 days on the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Anne McClain, David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency and Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency have successfully returned to Earth at 10:47 p.m. ET.
In a blog post, NASA revealed that the trio orbited Earth 3,264 times during the mission. During this time, the Expedition 59 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science. Moreover, during two spacewalks McClain helped swap out old batteries for new ones and helped out to complete a comprehensive upgrade of the space station’s power system.
The latest mission marks Kononenko’s fourth mission in the ISS. NASA said, “Kononenko, on his fourth mission, conducted two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 46 minutes, bringing his career total to 32 hours and 13 minutes spread over five spacewalks.”
Shortly after the trio departed the space station, Expedition 60 is occupying the ISS for the time being. At the moment, Nick Hague and Christina Koch will serve as flight engineers and Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Space Agency will serve as the station’s commander. Next month, Andrew Morgan of NASA, Luca Parmitano of ESA and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos will join the trio following a six-hour flight.