Coming home to clear blue skies, green grass and warm weather, the Expedition 35 crew of Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA’s Tom Marshburn and Russia’s Roman Romanenko has returned after spending just over five months on the International Space Station. “It’s beautiful!” one of the crew radioed in Russian just before landing. “It’s morning here.”
The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft landed right on target on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of Dzhezkazgan at 10:31 pm EDT on May 13 (02:31 UTC and 8:31 am local time, May 14, 2013.) The crew undocked from the ISS on Monday.
Keeping with his Expedition-long constant updates via Twitter (updated by his son Evan during the return flight and landing) Hadfield’s location changed appropriately to “In a Soyuz” to “In a field in Kazahkstan.”
A few hours later, Hadfield tweeted, “Safely home – back on Earth, happily readapting to the heavy pull of gravity. Wonderful to smell and feel Spring.”
The crew smiled and gave thumbs up after being extracted from the Soyuz craft, which appeared to land upright and then tipped on its side. Hadfield and Marshburn will soon head back to Johnson Space Center in Houston, with Romanenko going to Star City, Russia.
The Expedition 35 crew has now wrapped up 146 days in space, 144 days on the ISS. While on board they completed 2,336 orbits around the planet and clocked almost 100 million kilometers (62 million miles) In total, Marshburn has spent 162 days in space, 166 days for Hadfield, and 334 days for Romanenko.
This video shows the crews saying goodbye; then later the undocking, followed by the landing and crew extraction: