Watch live early Thursday: Cosmonauts departing space station – Space.com

Three Russian cosmonauts will return to Earth Thursday (Sept. 29), and you can watch the whole thing live.

Expedition 67 cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov will fly back to Earth on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from the International Space Station (ISS). 

Their Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft is scheduled to undock from the Prichal module of the ISS at 3:34 a.m. EDT (0734 GMT) and arrive in Kazakhstan, outside of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, at 6:57 a.m. EDT (1057 GMT or 4:57 a.m. local time), NASA officials (opens in new tab) said.

Live streaming of the undocking and re-entry will be available here at Space.com, via NASA Television (opens in new tab), as well as on the agency’s website, app, and social media. Undocking coverage will start at 3:15 a.m. EDT (0715 GMT) and landing coverage at 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945 GMT).

International Space Station: Facts about the orbital laboratory

The trio’s launch to the ISS on March 18 took place less than a month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, and their Soyuz held the first all-Russian cosmonaut crew in 22 years. 

Expedition 67 featured numerous spacewalks to prepare and integrate the European Robotic Arm on the Russian side of the space station, adding on to robotic capabilities used by Canada’s Canadarm2 and Japan’s Kibo module arm. (One Aug. 17 spacewalk was cut short due to problems with Artemyev’s suit, which were resolved before the next excursion.)

During a change of command ceremony on Wednesday (Sept. 28), outgoing Expedition 67 commander Artemyev seemed to allude to the ongoing war. “In the end, our war will end everywhere,” he said.

Expedition 68 commander Samantha Cristoforetti is the first European woman to helm the ISS and the fifth European to do so overall. After Artemyev, Matveev and Korsakov depart, she’ll share the ISS with NASA astronauts Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins and Kjell Lindgren and Frank Rubio, along with cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.

In photos: Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti takes Europe’s historic 1st female spacewalk

The next crewed launch to the ISS is expected to happen no sooner than Oct. 5. Crew-5, a mission that will take place aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, is slated to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

The multinational Crew-5 will include a seat for Anna Kikina, the first Russian cosmonaut to fly to the ISS on a commercial American spacecraft, along with NASA’s Nicole Mann (who will become the first Native American woman in space), NASA’s Josh Cassada and Japan’s Koichi Wakata. 

Crew-5’s launch has been delayed at least two days due to the potential “catastrophic” arrival of Hurricane Ian in Florida, as some officials have termed the storm. NASA has emphasized that the new launch date is tentative and depends on the center’s recovery after the hurricane, which has brought Category 4 winds to the state. 

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or Facebook (opens in new tab)

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