Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and flight engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos will undock their Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft from the ISS early Monday and are set to land in Kazakhstan at 5.21 pm (1120 GMT), the US space agency said in a blog post Sunday.
Their return will wrap up 173 days in space since their launch last October, NASA said.
Kimbrough handed over the command of the ISS on Sunday to NASA’s Peggy Whitson, whose scheduled stay on the space station was extended last week by three months until September.
Whitson is on her third long stay on the ISS and is heading toward breaking the record for a US astronaut for cumulative days in space on April 24. On that day she is due to pass the record of 534 cumulative days set by Jeff Williams. The 57-year-old already holds the record for most spacewalks by a female.
Whitson is in command of the ISS and two crewmates, Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. The crew will operate the station until the arrival of NASA’s Jack Fischer and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, who are scheduled to launch April 20 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Under Kimbrough’s command, the crew continued work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the orbiting laboratory.