Two Ham-Astronauts Return to Earth from Space Station
US Astronaut Chris Cassidy, KF5KDR, and Russian Cosmonaut and Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov, RV3BS, came safely back to Earth from the International Space Station September 11 aboard a Soyuz capsule. Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin rounded out the trio that landed in Kazakhstan after 166 days in space.
A day earlier, Vinogradov handed over command of the ISS to another radio amateur, Cosmonaut and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, in a traditional change-of-command ceremony in the Zvezda service module. “Yurchikhin officially became station commander when the homeward-bound trio undocked,” NASA reported.
Astronaut Mike Hopkins, KF5LJG, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryzanskiy are scheduled to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft September 25 to join their Expedition 37 crewmates aboard the ISS. While aboard the ISS, Hopkins is scheduled to install the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) Ham Video gear, although that is considered a low-priority assignment. He will join Yurchikhin, and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg, and Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP. Yurchikhin, Nyberg, and Parmitano arrived in May and will return to Earth in November.