The crew of Expedition 41 is safely back on Earth following a 165-day stay aboard the International Space Station. Early this morning in Kazakhstan, Soyuz TMA-13M landed by parachute and retro-rockets on the snow-covered steppe near the city of Arkalyk. Temperatures below freezing greeted NASA's Reid Wiseman, ESA's Alexander Gerst and cosmonaut Maxim Suraev as they were helped from the Soyuz, which had been dragged a short distance by its parachute. The crew was in good spirits as they were wrapped in blankets and given a quick medical checkup before leaving the landing site.
Undocking of the Soyuz occurred at 7:31 p.m. EST Sunday (0:31 UTC Monday), leaving behind the three-person crew of NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore and cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev. Wilmore is currently in command of the station, which is now operating under Expedition 42. Three new crew members will soon bring the station's complement back to six, when Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti and Anton Shkaplerov launch from the from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Nov. 23.
Soyuz TMA-13M departs
Soyuz TMA-13M slowly backs away from the International Space Station following its departure on Nov. 9, 2014. Undocking occurred at 7:31 p.m. EST (0:31 UTC Monday).
NASA / Bill Ingalls
Soyuz on the steppe
Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft is surrounded by recovery personnel following its landing on Nov. 10. The capsule appeared to have been dragged across the steppe by its parachute, coming to a rest a short distance from the burn marks left by its retro-rockets.
NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, the latest spacefarer to gain social media notoriety for his tweets and Vine posts from space, receives a medical checkup following his return to Earth on Nov. 10.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst is all smiles following the landing of the Expedition 41 crew in Kazakhstan.
Cosmonaut Maxim Suraev is carried by recovery personnel following the landing of the crew of Expedition 41.
NASA / Bill Ingalls
Expedition 41 crew
The crew of Expedition 41 receives a brief medical checkout following their landing in Kazakhstan.