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Expedition 27 Crew Returns Home
Soyuz TMA-20

Image above: The Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 27 crew is seen moments after undocking from the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA TV

International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour

Image above: The International Space Station with the docked space shuttle Endeavour is seen from the Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA TV

After spending 157 days aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 27 Commander Dmitry Kondratyev and Flight Engineers Cady Coleman and Paolo Nespoli landed safely at 10:27 p.m. EDT Monday, May 23 southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

› Read more about Expedition 27

Kondratyev, the Soyuz commander, was at the controls of the spacecraft. After undocking, he backed the Soyuz TMA-20 away from the station and halted it about 600 feet away. From there, Nespoli took still photographs and video of the complex while space shuttle Endeavour is docked at the station for the STS-134 mission. The station slowly rotated 130 degrees to provide Nespoli with the best lighting and views during the photo opportunity.

› Read more about STS-134

Once Nespoli completed taking pictures, the Soyuz performed a separation burn at 6:15 p.m. to increase the distance from the station before executing a deorbit burn at 9:36 p.m.

The departure of Kondratyev, Coleman and Nespoli marked the end of Expedition 27. Remaining aboard the station are Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko, Expedition 28 Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Alexander Samokutyaev, and the visiting crew of STS-134.

Three new Expedition 28 crew members, Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov and Flight Engineers Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 7. They will dock with the station and join Borisenko, Garan and Samokutyaev on June 9.

› Read more about Expedition 28