Tuesday, May 14, 2013

By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chris Hadfield safely returns to Earth

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, has safely returned to Earth after almost five months in orbit.

Hadfield, along with flight engineers American Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko, returned aboard a Soyuz capsule. They landed under a large parachute in the flat steppes of Kazakhstan at 10:31 p.m. ET.

Hadfield, 53, was the third to emerge from the tight confines of the capsule, assisted by ground crew. Once seated in a reclining chair, Hadfield gave a wave and a thumbs-up. Shortly after, he was seen making a call on a satellite phone to family and friends.

NASA spokesman Josh Byerly said by telephone from the landing site that the three returning astronauts were doing very well.

It was Hadfield’s first return from space in the Russian capsule — during his previous space missions, in 1995 and 2001, he travelled aboard one of the now retired space shuttles.

Earlier Monday, while he was reviewing Soyuz procedures on board the space station, Hadfield tweeted that he wanted “to thank every person at the Cdn Space Agency.”

“Your work takes Canada into orbit. Be proud,” he said.

The trio undocked from the space station shortly after 7 p.m. ET for their journey home. When they were about 12 kilometres from the station, the crew on the Soyuz capsule performed a successful de-orbit burn, slowing the craft down for its descent. (Source: CBC News) http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/chris-hadfield-safely-returns-to-earth-1.1403450