The Expedition 25 crew landed safely in Kazakhstan at 11:46 p.m. EST Thursday (Friday 10:46 a.m. Kazakhstan time). The trio — Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin — undocked in the Soyuz TMA-19 at 8:23 p.m. ending their 5-1/2 month stay at the International Space Station. Staying behind on the orbiting laboratory are Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly and Flight Engineers Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka.
To round out the Exp. 26 crew to 6 again, on Dec. 15 cosmonaut Dmitri Kondratyev, veteran US astronaut Cady Coleman, and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli will launch to the station and are scheduled to dock at the ISS on Dec. 17.
The departing Expedition 25 crew spent its final days packing gear for the return home as well as reviewing and training for its landing procedures. They also participated in the usual station science and maintenance activities.
The crew members remaining behind prepared for their handover activities all week. They reviewed emergency procedures as the outgoing station residents transitioned into their new roles. They also continued station science activities such as collecting and storing blood samples for the Human Research Facility.
The ISS has now been operating in orbit for 4,390 days, with cumulative crew time of 3,676 days.