Space crew with Belarusian cosmonaut safely back on Earth


The crew including sovereign Belarus’ first cosmonaut Marina Vasilevskaya has safely returned to Earth, a BelTA journalist reports from Roscosmos’ mission control center. In addition to Marina Vasilevskaya the Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and the NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara have come back to Earth.

The reentry vehicle routinely landed at 10:17 Minsk time about 150km to the southeast of the city of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. It was a soft landing thanks to parachutes and thanks to the special engines, which triggered several meters above the ground.

Search and rescue teams consisting of medics and about 200 Russian military personnel immediately went to the landing site. The teams were fitted with Mi-8 helicopters, An-12 and An-26 aircraft, ground vehicles, including the search and evacuation vehicles PEM-1 and PEM-2 Blue Bird. 

The crew is supposed to be transported to Zvyozdny Gorodok, Moscow Oblast today where they will be examined by medics and will undergo rehabilitation.

Marina Vasilevskaya’s flight lasted for 14 days, including 12 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS). While on the ISS Marina Vasilevskaya carried out a research program, which had been developed by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in association with Roscosmos and the Russian Academy of Sciences. It included seven experiments: five for the sake of scientific research and two for education purposes. The scientific studies focused on biology, physiology, autonomous operation of space stations, the remote sensing of Earth using photo and video spectrum equipment of Belarusian make already on board the International Space Station. The lactoferrin and probiotics made by scientific organizations of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus were examined as well in order to evaluate the possibility of using them later to create food for cosmonauts.

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