French Astronaut Returns after Six Months in Intl. Station

French Astronaut Returns after Six Months in Intl. Station

Russian recovery teams are helping the crew exit the Soyuz vehicle and adjust to gravity after their stay in space.

However, due to downsizing from Roscosmos (the agency is temporarily reducing the number of cosmonauts it stations on the ISS from three to two) Whitson will not be accompanying the pair on their journey back to Earth.

All descent landing operations have been successfully completed.

French President Emmanuel Macron talked to the astronaut by video transmission after he landed Friday and praised Pesquet for sharing his experience so openly. "Even just holding this telephone is hard".

The world was a different place when Pesquet and Novitskiy arrived at the station on November 20 for a six-month mission.

Russia's Oleg Novitsky and the European Space Agency's Thomas Pesquet have returned to Eart after spending 197 days in orbit.

Pesquet won plaudits at home and overseas as well as over half a million followers on Twitter over the course of his preparations and time in space.

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"We got a lot of work done up here".

"These qualities were confirmed during the flight", he added.

Pesquet's and his return to Earth marked the first two-man Soyuz landing since March 2010, when cosmonaut Maxim Surayev and astronaut Jeff Williams completed Expedition 21 on board Soyuz TMA-16.

"But to see the planet as a whole... to see it for yourself... this allows you to truly appreciate the fragility".

The Soyuz craft is scheduled to land in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan around 1400 GMT, according to a statement by the European Space Agency (ESA). "Now the cosmonauts will be evacuated from the capsule", a spokesman for Russian mission control told AFP.

Pesquet won over the recognition of thousands of people at home and overseas and added over half a million followers on Twitter over the course of his departure preparation and time in space. "Guess what time it was by the shadows '#workitoutlikeadetective#", he posted on June 1. It traveled 82.9 million miles (133.4 million kilometers) over the course of 3,136 orbits of Earth.

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