Three International Space Station astronauts to return to Earth on December, 20th

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Picture: European Space Agency (ESA)

After more than six months living and working on the International Space Station, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst, NASA astronaut Serena Auñon and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopiev are expected to touch down their Soyuz in Kazakhstan at around 05:06 GMT.

Parachutes will deploy and retrorockets will fire an instant before touchdown to slow the capsule for a dramatic but safe landing. Ground teams from Russia, ESA and NASA will help the astronauts out of the their capsule.

“These kinds of operations are only possible thanks to the cooperation and dedication of several ESA teams including space medicine, crew support, training, communication and the EAC office in Star City, Moscow, as well as close collaboration with our external partners NASA, Roscosmos and German Aerospace Centre – DLR,” said European Space Agency project manager, Stephane Ghiste.

There will be a live transmission of the Soyuz capsule landing from 04:30 – 05:45 GMT (11.30PM – 00-45AM EST) on NASA TV.

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