LIVE: ISS Crew To Begin Trip Back To Earth At 7:02 p.m.

By  //  September 10, 2014

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mission covered almost 72 million miles in orbit

ABOVE LIVESTREAM: Watch Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) as they undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the station at 7:02 p.m. EDT Sept. 10, for a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:25 p.m.

Three crew members aboard the International Space Station are scheduled to end almost six months on the orbiting laboratory on Sept. 10 and SpaceCoastDaily.com via NASA will provide complete live coverage.

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Expedition 40 commander, along with cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, both flight engineers with the Russian Federal Space Agency, return to Earth Sept. 10 after six month aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Expedition 40 commander, along with cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, both flight engineers with the Russian Federal Space Agency, return to Earth Sept. 10 after six month aboard the International Space Station. (NASA.gov image)

Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the station at 7:02 p.m. EDT Sept. 10, for a landing in Kazakhstan at 10:25 p.m. (8:25 a.m. Sept. 11, Kazakh time).

Their return will end 169 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan March 26 for a mission that covered almost 72 million miles in orbit.

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At the time of undocking, Expedition 41 formally will begin aboard the station under the command of Max Suraev of Roscosmos. Suraev and his crewmates, Reid Wiseman of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, will operate the station as a three-person crew for two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members.

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Elena Serova are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, Sept. 25 on a six-hour flight to the space station.

NASA TV coverage will began Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a change of command ceremony when Swanson will turn over control of station operations to Suraev, and will continue Sept. 10 and 11 with Expedition 40 landing and post-landing activities.

BELOW VIDEO: A few hours after docking their Soyuz TMA-12M, Skvortsov, Expedition 39/40 Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Flight Engineer Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos opened the hatches and were greeted by station Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, NASA Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos. 

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