February 27, 2016
The television service of the United States government agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will air live the departure of three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) on March 1.
Station commander Scott Kelly and flight engineer Mikhail Kornienko will join cosmonaut Sergey Volkov for a ride back to Earth.
Volkov will lead the duo home inside the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft, carrying their personal items and science for analysis.
Kelly and Kornienko are set to complete 340 days in space when they land in Kazakhstan, while Volkov will have lived in space for 182 days.
To be known as the ISS Expedition 47 crew, NASA astronaut and two-time space station resident Tim Kopra and British astronaut Tim Peake will remain in space and operate the station with cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko until the arrival of three new crew members in two weeks.
NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on March 18 (EST) for their trip to the ISS.
According to NASA TV, its coverage will begin at 3:10 p.m. (EST) on February 29, when Kelly hands over command of the station to Kopra.
The rest of the coverage is as follows: March 1 at 4:15 p.m. (EST), farewell and hatch closure; 7:45 p.m., undocking schedule; while deorbit burn and landing starts at 10:15 p.m.
Estimated landing time is at 11:27 p.m. (EST) or 10:27 a.m. on March 2 (Kazakhstan time).
Twice the duration of a typical mission, Kelly and Kornienko’s stay of more than 300 days in space afforded researchers a rare opportunity to study the medical, physiological, as well as psychological and performance challenges astronauts face during long-duration spaceflight.
Biological samples were collected and assessments were performed in order to establish baselines.
Comparison samples were taken throughout their stay in space and will continue for a year or more after their return to Earth.
Kelly’s identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in parallel twin studies on Earth to provide scientists more bases for comparisons.
NASA TV is broadcast by satellite with a simulcast over the Internet.
For more information about NASA TV streaming video and schedule, visit http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv.