A new video of the recent landing of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft shows the touchdown on the Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan from a rare ground-based view of the space capsule's jarring touchdown.
A camera mounted on a Russian Search and Recovery all-terrain vehicle captured a unique video perspective of the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft carrying the International Space Station's Expedition 23 crew on June 2. The capsule touched down with the help of parachutes and thrusters east of the town Dzezhgazkan on the steppes of Kazakhstan.
The video shows the parachute's deployment and the cloud of dirt that the spacecraft kicks up as it hits the ground with a jolt. Recovery crews can be seen scrambling to open up the capsule and retrieve the three spaceflyers inside. All-in-all, it was a standard and uneventful landing, according to NASA and Russia's Federal Space Agency.
Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, American astronaut Timothy "T.J." Creamer of NASA, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, returned to Earth on the Soyuz after 163 days in space. Their landing cleared the way for a new crew to launch this week.
That new cadre of astronauts ? Expedition 24 flight engineers Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency ? are due to launch Tuesday at 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) aboard the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio will take up residence on the station as long-term crewmembers.
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