December 10, 2015 – NASA Television will provide complete coverage Friday, December 11 of the departure of three crew members from the International Space Station and their return to Earth beginning at 1 a.m. EST (11 p.m. MST, December 10.)
Expedition 45 Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will undock their Soyuz TMA-17M spacecraft from the space station at 4:49 a.m. EST. The crew members will land in Kazakhstan at 8:12 a.m. (7:10 p.m. Kazakhstan time). Their return will wrap up 141 days in space since their launch in late July.
The three crew members, including Colorado astronaut Lindgren, are returning to Earth nearly two weeks earlier than originally planned. NASA and Roscosmos updated the flight schedule to accommodate increased traffic to the space station this month, including the first voyage of Russia’s uncrewed Progress-MS cargo spacecraft.
Activities and NASA TV coverage are as follows:
1 a.m. – Farewell and hatch closure coverage (hatch closure scheduled at
4:30 a.m. – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled at 4:49 a.m.)
7 a.m. – Deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn scheduled at 7:19 a.m., with landing at 8:12 a.m.)
10 a.m. – Video file of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
9 p.m. – Video file of landing and post-landing activities and post-landing interviews with Lindgren and Yui in Kazakhstan
At the time of undocking, Expedition 46 will begin aboard the station under the continued command of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. Along with his crewmates Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos, the three-person crew will operate the station for four days until the arrival of three new crew members. NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency) are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Tuesday, December 15.
Kelly and Kornienko are spending one year in space, twice the typical mission duration, to provide researchers the opportunity to advance their knowledge of the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight.
For the NASA TV streaming video and schedule, visit: