After 185 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and her two Russian counterparts will return to Earth on Saturday, April 17.
NASA will livestream the event, including the trio’s undocking from the space station aboard the Soyuz spacecraft on Friday, April 16, and the landing in Kazakhstan the following day. More details below.
Rubins arrived at the ISS with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov as part of Expedition 64 on October 14, 2020.
During her six-month stint aboard the ISS, Rubins participated in two spacewalks, voted in the U.S. presidential election, and worked on a range of experiments.
The three astronauts also experienced 2,960 orbits of Earth and traveled a total of 78.4 million miles.
This is Rubins’ second spaceflight, with 300 cumulative days in space. Ryzhikov is completing his second spaceflight, with 358 cumulative days, while Kud-Sverchkov was on his first spaceflight.
How to watch
Coverage of the astronauts’ departure from the ISS and landing on Earth will air live on NASA TV and on the NASA app. You can also watch it by hitting the play button on the embedded player at the top of this page.
A livestream of the farewells aboard the ISS will begin at 5:45 p.m. ET on Friday, April 16.
Rubins, Ryzhikov, and Kud-Sverchkov will then climb aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft and close the hatch at 6:10 p.m. ET in preparation for their journey back to Earth. The astronauts will undock from the space station at 9:34 p.m. ET.
Coverage of Soyuz’s deorbit burn will begin at 11:30 p.m. ET Friday night, with the parachute-assisted landing scheduled to follow at 12:56 a.m. ET (10:56 a.m. Kazakhstan time) on Saturday, April 17, on the steppe of Kazakhstan, southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, about 300 miles from the country’s capital city, Nur-Sultan.
After landing, the Soyuz MS-17 crew members will go their separate ways, with Rubins returning to her home in Houston and the cosmonauts flying back to their training base in Star City, Russia.
The Soyuz undocking will mark the formal beginning of Expedition 65 aboard the station, with new station commander Shannon Walker, NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and Mark Vande Hei, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.
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