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Expedition 29 Crew Lands in Kazakhstan
Expedition 29 crew

The Expedition 29 crew - Commander Mike Fossum (left) and Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov (center) and Satoshi Furukawa - returned safely to Earth. Image Credit: NASA TV

Soyuz TMA-02M

The Soyuz TMA-22 carrying three new Expedition 29 crew members rendezvous with the International Space Station. Credit: NASA TV

Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov landed their Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:26 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 21, (8:26 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, Kazakhstan time), wrapping up a five-and-a-half-month mission of research and exploration.

Volkov was at the controls of the spacecraft as it undocked at 6 p.m. from the International Space Station.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov arrived at the orbital complex June 9 aboard Soyuz TMA-02M, joining the Expedition 28 crew as flight engineers. Expedition 29 began and Fossum took command when Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Alexander Samokutyaev departed the station in September. He, Furukawa and Volkov spent 165 days aboard the complex and 167 days in orbit.

The station now is occupied by Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin. A new trio of Expedition 30 flight engineers – NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers – is slated to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan next month aboard Soyuz TMA-03M.

› Read more about Expedition 29