Dramatic Videos of Station Undocking, Gorgeous Earth Descent and Soyuz Touchdown by Russian American Trio

Article written: 16 Sep , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Video Caption: Soyuz Trio Lands in Kazakhstan – The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Ron Garan and his fellow Expedition 28 flight engineers returned safely to Earth on Sept. 16 with a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. Garan and cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko, and Alexander Samokutyaev had been on the International Space Station since April 6. Their journey home was delayed just over a week by the failure of the Progress 44 cargo craft to reach the station. Remaining on the orbiting laboratory is NASA’s Mike Fossum and his two Expedition 28/29 colleagues, Russian Sergei Volkov, and Satoshi Furukawa of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency

Check out this collection of dramatic videos of the departure, descent and safe touchdown of the trio of Russian and American space flyers aboard the Soyuz TMA 21 spacecraft in the remote steppes of Kazakhstan on Sept. 16, 2011.

The first video above is a compilation of all the key events from the Soyuz spacecraft undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) to landing and gives the complete picture. Be sure to watch the Soyuz flying away like a bird with the gorgeous Earth in the background. Observe the crew being extracted like fish from the capsule.

The rest of the videos are shorter and break down the story to focus on the key individual events of the crews remaining final hours aboard the station and in space.

This video records the “Change of Command” as Mike Fossum takes over the helm of the ISS

Video Caption: NASA’s Fossum Given ISS Command – In a ceremony conducted 230 miles above the Earth on Sept. 14, the “helm” of the International Space Station was handed over by Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko to NASA astronaut, Mike Fossum, who takes command of the orbiting laboratory on Expedition 29.

Hatch Closure and Bidding Farewell

Video Caption: Hatch Closes as Soyuz Crew Bids Farewell – The Expedition 28 crew of Soyuz Commander Alexander Samokutyaev, NASA Flight Engineer Ron Garan and off-going station Commander Andrey Borisenko said their goodbyes to the remaining residents of the International Space Station before closing the hatch on their vehicle and preparing to undock for their return home to Earth on Sept. 16

This video highlights the ISS undocking sequence

Video Caption: Soyuz Undocks from ISS – The Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft that’ll carry Commander Alexander Samokutyaev, NASA Flight Engineer Ron Garan and off-going station Commander Andrey Borisenko back to Earth undocks from the International Space Station and begins its return journey home.


Read Ken’s Soyuz landing story for further details:
Expedition 28 Soyuz Crew Lands Safely in Kazakhstan

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2 Responses

  1. Lloyd Croad says

    Thanks for posting this, I want to show this to my grandson to show the practical realities of space flight, as opposed to the sci-fi versions. (not that I don’t enjoy sci-fi!).

  2. Julie S says

    Great video. I was wondering as I watched the first few minutes how gravity would feel after six months in space and then I got to the extraction part and realised that it obviously feels very, very heavy! I wonder if any of the people who have spent any time on the ISS ever feel normal again under gravity. I’m sure some things must be a lot nicer with gravity involved – mainly cleansing both internally and externally, but just feeling weightless for any length of time seems to me to be an amazing experience that would be hard to give up.

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