NASA astronaut Anne McClain and two crewmates on the International Space Station are scheduled to conclude their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory Monday, June 24. Live coverage of their return will begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
McClain, a flight engineer for Expedition 59, expedition and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, will close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft Monday afternoon and undock from the station. A little more than three hours later, a parachute-assisted landing is planned southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan on the Kazakhstan steppe.
The crew is completing a 204-day mission spanning 3,264 orbits of the Earth and a journey of 86.4 million miles. When they land, Kononenko will have logged 737 days in space on his four flights, putting him in sixth place on the all-time list of space travelers for cumulative time. McClain and Saint-Jacques will be completing their first flights into space. Saint-Jacques’ mission will be the longest single spaceflight by a Canadian astronaut.
After landing, the crew will return by helicopter to the recovery staging area in Karaganda, Kazakhstan, where McClain and Saint-Jacques will board a NASA plane for their return to Houston, and Kononenko will return to his home in Star City, Russia.
Also on June 24, NASA TV will broadcast live coverage of the launch of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STP-2 mission will carry four NASA payloads including scientific instruments and technology demonstrations to test the performance of non-toxic spacecraft fuel and an advanced atomic clock to improve spacecraft navigation.
Full NASA TV coverage is as follows. All times are EDT:
Sunday, June 23:
- 3:35 p.m. – Space station change of command ceremony, during which Konenenko will hand over command to Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.
Monday, June 24:
- 3:30 p.m. – Farewell and Soyuz hatch closure coverage (hatch closure at 4:10 p.m.)
- 7:00 p.m. – Soyuz undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 7:25 p.m.)
- 9:30 p.m. – Soyuz deorbit burn and landing coverage (deorbit burn at 9:55 p.m. and landing at 10:48 p.m.)
- 11 p.m. – Coverage of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy STP-2 launch (Media Channel only)
At the time of undocking, Expedition 60 will begin aboard the station, with NASA Flight Engineers Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Commander Ovchinin comprising a three-person crew until the next residents launch July 20 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Andrew Morgan of NASA, Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) will launch aboard Soyuz MS-13 to join Expedition 60 after a six-hour journey to the station.
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Johnson Space Center, Houston