Astronaut of the European Space Agency (ESA) German Alexander Gerst, Commander of the International Space Station (ISS), left the control of the orbital platform to the Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenkobefore returning to Earth with two other companions, after having stayed 197 days in the room.
Recurring astronauts and cosmonauts have already arrived on Earth with the scientific evidence they should bring. Gerst, the American astronaut Serena Auñón Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Serguéi Prokópiev, the closed ship's hatch, Souyz MS-09 and in a few hours landed in Kazakhstan's steppe in Baikonur cosmodrome.
The Russian manned spacecraft arrived at Earth in a completely normal landing, according to the Russian Space Flight Control Center. Soyuz made landslides around 140 kilometers southeast of the Kazakh city Zhezkazgan, as programmed.
Among the samples that were taken to the ground, they were taken on the 12 Kononenko and Prokópiev during a 7-hour and 45-minute stroll on the Soyuz MS-09 hull, so Russia can investigate the origin of the small hole which caused the loss of canned food in August.
Kononenko arrived at ISS on December 3 together with Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques and American Anne McClain, in what was the first manned space flight since the accident in October 11, which the Soyuz MS-10 had suffered during a missile in the rocket of the airline forced to interrupt the flight two minutes after starting.
The crew stays on ISS for approx. three monthsuntil the next residents of the international orbital platform arrive on board the Soyuz MS-12 on 28 February: the Americans Nick Haag and Christina Koch and the Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin.