Astronaut Tim Kopra Takes Command Of The Space Station

March 1, 2016

Astronaut Scott Kelly of the United States government agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has officially handed over the command of the International Space Station (ISS) to astronaut Tim Kopra on Monday, February 29.

At 3:15 p.m. Monday (EST) or 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, March 1 (Manila time), Kopra assumed command of the orbital laboratory from Kelly in a traditional change of command ceremony.

Expedition 47 will officially begin under Kopra’s command when the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft carrying Kelly and astronauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov undocks from the space station on Tuesday, March 1 (EST).

Kelly and Kornienko launched to the space station on March 27, 2015 for their one-year mission.

Volkov, on the other hand, arrived at the station last September 4.

Kelly and Kornienko’s return on Earth will mark the end of their 340 days aboard the space station, while Volkov completes a 182-day in space.

Their estimated landing time in Kazakhstan is at 11:27 p.m. on March 1 (EST) or 10:27 a.m. on March 2 (Kazakhstan time) or 12:27 p.m on March 2 (Manila time).

While the homebound trio is wrapping up its mission, Kopra together with flight engineers Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko will stay in orbit till June and continue their science and maintenance activities.

Kelly and Kornienko’s one-year mission afforded researchers a rare opportunity to study the medical, physiological, as well as psychological and performance challenges astronauts face during long-duration spaceflight.

NASA TV will air live the Soyuz crew departure and landing activities beginning March 1 at 4:15 p.m. (EST) or 5:15 a.m on March 2 (Manila time).

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.

Meanwhile, if you missed seeing the moment of change of command, you can watch the video below.

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