NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov have returned to Earth after six months of working at the International Space Station. As per an official press release by NASA, the crew departed the station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 9:34 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 16, and landed safely under parachutes at 12:55 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, southeast of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. It was the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov. After six months at ISS, Rubins will return to her home in Houston, and Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to their homes in Star City, Russia.
Rubins will be discussing her experience in a news conference on Wednesday, April 21. The conference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. As per the press release, during the mission, Rubins and her crewmates welcomed NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard. Also, Rubins completed two spacewalks alongside NASA astronaut Victor Glover and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi.. She has now come back to Earth with a total of 300 days across her two flights. This marks the fourth most days in space by a US female astronaut.
Rubins, Ryzhikov, and Kud-Sverchkov’s mission began October 14, 2020, when their spacecraft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft was successfully able to dock with the ISS at 4:48 a.m. EDT (2:18 PM IST). The NASA astronaut and the two Russian cosmonauts joined Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April.
According to a report by NASA, astronaut Kate Rubins is the first person to sequence DNA in space. She holds a bachelor's degree in molecular biology from the University of California, San Diego, and a doctorate in cancer biology from Stanford University’s Medical School Biochemistry Department and Microbiology and Immunology Department, Palo Alto, California. The NASA astronaut has been to space before in 2016. As per the report, 241 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity destination that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.