The ISS crew returned safely to Earth and brought the evidence space sabotage

Two astronauts and a cosmonaut returned to Earth on Thursday after a hectic stay on the ISS, overshadowed by the air leak and failure of the rocket, which was to lead shift crew. The spacecraft “Soyuz”, on Board of which was Alexander Gerst from the European space Agency, the Serine Augen-Chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokofiev of Roscosmos landed safely in Kazakhstan, said Russian space Agency.

The spacecraft landed slightly ahead of schedule at 08:02 Moscow time. The team feels good after return to Earth.

Due to the dense fog, failed to capture the descent of the apparatus. When rescuers removed the crew from the capsule, Prokopiev and Augen-Chancellor was pale and weak in appearance due to prolonged exposure to microgravity, while Gerst was a good sport and even gave an interview to German TV channel.

When the astronauts went to the ISS in June, they were among the least experienced teams ever to align to the station — Gerst only been in space before, in 2014. He Gerst has now spent 363 days at the ISS, a record for the European space Agency.

Air leakage

The first significant incident in the mission crew happened in August, when the astronauts discovered an air leak in the spacecraft “Soyuz” docked with the orbiting space lab. They managed to successfully seal the small hole, however, Russia has initiated an investigation. Dmitry Rogozin suggested that it could be deliberate sabotage in space. According to him, the investigators had excluded the possibility of manufacturing defect of the spacecraft.

Last week Prokopiev and his colleague Oleg Kononenko spent a grueling space walk lasting nearly eight hours to find a hole on the outside, remove it and gather evidence.

The hole was in a section of the spacecraft the astronauts, which was to fall and burn up in atmosphere upon landing, so there was a need to examine the probe in space.

During space walks Kononenko said he found some yellow and black “fuzzy” deposits similar to the “spider” around the hole, but no conclusions made. Further investigation will be engaged in FSB already on the Ground.

The landing team on the Ground is scheduled for 13 December, but the schedule changed after the October failure of the rocket “Soyuz”, which brings the following change of crew — this was the first failure of the rocket in the post-Soviet era.

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