Three members of the Expedition 34 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth March 15 wrapping up a mission lasting more than four and a half months. Expedition 35 now is under way.
Station Commander Kevin Ford of NASA and Soyuz Commander Evgeny Tarelkin and Flight Engineer Oleg Novitskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency undocked their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the space station at 6:43 p.m., CDT, and landed northeast of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, at about 10:10 p.m. The trio arrived at the station Oct. 25, 2012, and spent 144 days in space, 142 of which were aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield is in command of Expedition 35. He is the first Canadian to serve as station commander. Hadfield and his crewmates, Tom Marshburn of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko will work aboard the station until three additional crew members, including NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, arrive in late March.
Ford, Tarelkin, and Novitskiy orbited Earth 2,304 times and traveled almost 61 million miles.