NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and his two Russian colleagues, cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, will return to Earth aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft on Wednesday, October 21, following a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The entire event, from undocking to landing, will be livestreamed by NASA.
It will bring to a close the space station’s Expedition 63, which started in April 2020. During his latest stint aboard the ISS, Cassidy worked on an array of scientific experiments, carried out essential maintenance during four spacewalks, and welcomed fellow NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the station after the first-ever astronaut flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Cassidy also witnessed some powerful storms from the safety of the station 250 miles above Earth, started work to find an air leak on the station, and recently installed a brand new space toilet for future ISS crew members.
Expedition 64 officially begins when Cassidy undocks from the space station with his two Russian crewmates on Wednesday.
Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, who arrived at the space station last week, will stay aboard the orbiting outpost until April 2021.
What time does Wednesday’s homecoming begin?
Safely secured inside the Soyuz spacecraft, Cassidy, Ivanishin, and Vagner will undock from the space station’s Poisk module at 4:32 p.m. PT and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere just over three hours later.
What you can see
The livestream will show the undocking process and the moments as the spacecraft drifts away from the space station at the start of its journey home. After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will be slowed by parachutes before landing in Kazakhstan at about 7:55 p.m. PT. (7:55 a.m. the following day local time and therefore in daylight). Cassidy and the two cosmonauts will then be carried from the spacecraft and transported to a facility for a comprehensive health check.
How to watch
You can watch the entire event via the video player embedded at the top of this page, or via NASA TV. Coverage will begin at 4 p.m PT on Wednesday, October 21, with the undocking taking place about half an hour into the livestream.
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