Video Shows Soyuz Spaceship Landing Like Never Before

Video Shows Soyuz Spaceship Landing Like Never Before
The Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft lands with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, June 2, 2010. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

A new video of the recent landing of a Russian Soyuzspacecraft shows the touchdown on the Central Asian steppes of Kazakhstan froma rare ground-based view of the space capsule's jarring touchdown.

A camera mounted on a Russian Search and Recoveryall-terrain vehicle captured a uniquevideo perspective of the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft carrying the InternationalSpace Station's Expedition 23 crew on June 2. The capsule toucheddown with the help of parachutes and thrusters east of the town Dzezhgazkanon the steppes of Kazakhstan.

The videoshows the parachute's deployment and the cloud of dirt that the spacecraftkicks up as it hits the ground with a jolt. Recovery crews can be seenscrambling to open up the capsule and retrieve the three spaceflyers inside.All-in-all, it was a standard and uneventful landing, according to NASA andRussia's Federal Space Agency.

Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, American astronaut Timothy"T.J." Creamer of NASA, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, returnedto Earth on the Soyuz after 163 days in space. Their landing cleared the wayfor a new crew to launch this week.

That new cadre of astronauts? Expedition 24 flight engineers Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker of NASA andFyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency ? are due to launch Tuesdayat 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) aboard the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft from BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The trio will take up residence on the station aslong-term crewmembers.


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Clara Moskowitz
Assistant Managing Editor

Clara Moskowitz is a science and space writer who joined the team in 2008 and served as Assistant Managing Editor from 2011 to 2013. Clara has a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics from Wesleyan University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She covers everything from astronomy to human spaceflight and once aced a NASTAR suborbital spaceflight training program for space missions. Clara is currently Associate Editor of Scientific American. To see her latest project is, follow Clara on Twitter.