One-Year Crew Returns from Space Station March 1; Live Coverage on NASA TV
NASA Television will provide complete coverage Tuesday, March 1, as three crew members depart the International Space Station, including NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos – the station’s first one-year crew.
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko marked their 300th consecutive day aboard the International Space Station on Jan. 21, 2016. The pair will land March 1 after spending a total of 340 days in space.
NASA Television coverage will begin at 3:10 p.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 29, when Kelly hands over command of the station to fellow NASA astronaut Tim Kopra. Complete coverage is as follows:
Monday, Feb. 29
3:10 p.m. — Change of command ceremony (Scott Kelly hands over space station command to Tim Kopra)
Tuesday, March 1
4:15 p.m. — Farewell and hatch closure coverage; hatch closure scheduled at 4:40 p.m.
7:45 p.m. — Undocking coverage; undocking scheduled at 8:05 p.m.
10:15 p.m. — Deorbit burn and landing coverage; deorbit burn scheduled at 10:34 p.m., with landing at 11:27 p.m. (10:27 a.m. on March 2, Kazakhstan time)
Wednesday, March 2
1:30 a.m. — Video file of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
Twice the duration of a typical mission, Kelly and Kornienko’s station-record 340 days in space afforded researchers a rare opportunity to study the medical, physiological, and psychological and performance challenges astronauts face during long-duration spaceflight.
The science driving the one-year mission, critical to informing the agency’s Journey to Mars, began a year before Kelly or Kornienko floated into the space station. Biological samples were collected and assessments were performed in order to establish baselines. Comparison samples were taken throughout their stay in space and will continue for a year or more after their return to Earth. Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in parallel twin studies on Earth to provide scientists more bases for comparisons.
ISS Expedition 47 officially begins, under Kopra’s command, when the Soyuz carrying Kelly, Kornienko and Sergey Volkov undocks from the space station. Kopra, Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency), will operate the station as a three-person crew until the arrival of three new crew members in two weeks. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on March 18 EST.