The three astronauts, including one woman, landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday after spending months in space.
Female Astronaut Holds US Record For Space Endurance
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronaut Jack Fischer landed safely on earth on Sunday after many months in space.
The Soyuz MS-04 carrying NASA astronauts Whitson and Fischer and Yurchikin back to Earth from the International Space Station touched down at 7:21am Kazakhstan time on Sunday in a remote area southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan.
While living and working aboard the world’s only orbiting laboratory, Whitson and Fischer contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, welcomed several cargo spacecraft delivering tons of supplies and research experiments, and conducted a combined six spacewalks to perform maintenance and upgrades to the station, NASA reported.
Among their scientific exploits, Whitson and Fischer supported research into the physical changes to astronaut’s eyes caused by prolonged exposure to a microgravity environment. They also conducted a new lung tissue study that explored how stem cells work in the unique microgravity environment of the space station, which may pave the way for future stem cell research in space.
Additional research included an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and the study of plant physiology and growth in space using an advanced plant habitat.
The crew members received a total of seven cargo deliveries during their mission.
Whitson’s return marks the completion of a 288-day mission for her that began last November and spanned 1.9 million kilometers and 4,623 orbits of the Earth – her third long-duration mission on the station.
During her latest mission, Whitson performed four spacewalks, bringing her career total to 10. With a total of 665 days in space, Whitson holds the US record and places eighth on the all-time space endurance list.
Fischer, who launched in April, along with Yurchikhin, completed 136 days in space, during which he conducted the first and second spacewalks of his career. Yurchikhin, who launched with Fischer, now has a total of 673 days in space, putting him seventh place on the all-time endurance list.