Russian Soyuz capsule carrying 3 crew safely lands in Kazakhstan


NEW DELHI: A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying two women including the first Belarusian and one man landed safely in Kazakhstan on Saturday, about 3.5 hours after departing the International Space Station.
The spacecraft, Soyuz MS-24 carrying NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, and spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya of Belarus came back to Earth earlier today, reported.
NASA selected O’Hara in 2017. She and Vasilevskaya were on their first mission while Novitskyhad already conducted three long-duration missions aboard the ISS.
On March 23, Novitskiy, Vasilevskaya, and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson took off in a separate Soyuz from Kazakhstan.
Their launch followed a rare Soyuz rocket abort two days earlier, which was quickly fixed as a result of a battery problem. In contrast, O’Hara launched on a different Soyuz spacecraft in September of last year and spent 204 days in orbit before returning home today.
Belarus, a military ally of Russia, recently made headlines for its involvement in a short-term International Space Station (ISS) mission. This partnership comes in the wake of Russia‘s controversial invasion of Ukraine, which has led to strained relations with other space agencies, as per
Vasilevskaya, a 33-year-old flight attendant, was selected to participate in the mission through a nationwide contest organized by the Belarus Academy of Sciences and Belarus Space Agency.
Following their return, each crew member was presented with Matryoshka dolls bearing their likenesses as gifts. Vasilevskaya’s journey to space marks a significant milestone as the first citizen of the Republic of Belarus to reach the stars. Notably, predecessors from the former Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic, Pyotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalyonok, ventured into space in 1973 and 1977 respectively.
The Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft, which carried Vasilevskaya and her fellow astronauts to the ISS, remains docked to the station. It is set to return in the fall with a new crew after the current occupants, including Dyson, complete their year-long mission. Meanwhile, the ISS is also accommodating the SpaceX Crew-8 Dragon spacecraft, with astronauts from Expedition 71 onboard for a six-month stay in space.


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