by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Apr 30, 2012
The Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft carrying Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin landed in Kazakhstan Friday at 7:45 a.m. EDT. They undocked from the International Space Station at 4:18 a.m. officially ending their stay.
The Soyuz performed a deorbit burn at 6:49 a.m. before the descent module separated from the rest of the Russian spacecraft and entered the Earth's atmosphere. Afterward, the Soyuz deployed several parachutes, slowing its descent, and then fired three small engines to soften its landing.
Support personnel have extracted the Expedition 30 crew members from the Soyuz and they are now being monitored by flight surgeons.
Expedition 31 began when Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin undocked from the station. Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers will continue their stay aboard the orbital laboratory until July 1.
Scheduled to join them in mid-May are Flight Engineers Gennady Padalka, Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin, who will launch and arrive in the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft.
The new crewmates are completing their mission training at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. They will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on May 15, and plan to stay in space until Sept. 17.
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