After 6-month trip to International Space Station, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, others back on Earth - Hindustan Times
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After 6-month trip to International Space Station, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, others back on Earth

Apr 07, 2024 01:28 AM IST

After a six-month research mission aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and others are back on Earth.

In some very good news, US space agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut Loral O’Hara, along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Belarus spaceflight participant Marina Vasilevskaya returned to Earth today after completing a six-month research mission aboard the International Space Station. Immediately after the landing, Russian space agency Roscosmos said, “Today, at 10:17am Moscow time (0717 GMT), the descent vehicle of Sozuz MS-24 manned spacecraft landed near the Kazakh city of Jezkazgan.”

International Space Station (ISS) crew member, NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara rests after landing in a remote area near Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan,(via REUTERS)
International Space Station (ISS) crew member, NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara rests after landing in a remote area near Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan,(via REUTERS)

When the crew left the ISS

They exited the International Space Station and boarded the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft on April 5 at 11:54 p.m. EDT and landed safely on April 6 at 3:17 a.m. southeast of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The capsule that carried them landed safely as the parachutes deployed on schedule. Roscosmos indicated the same in its statement, “The (vessel's) deorbit and its descent to Earth went off normally”.

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Time spent on ISS

O’Hara space journey started on September 15, 2023, alongside Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, who continue their one-year mission aboard the station. Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya were sent on March 23 aboard Soyuz MS-25 to the ISS along with NASA astronaut Tracy C. Dyson.

O'Hara completed over 3,264 orbits around Earth, covering more than 86.5 million miles.

The time spent on the ISS by these astronauts varied hugely depending on number of missions. During her first spaceflight, O’Hara spent 204 days on the ISS. However, Novitskiy has accumulated 545 days across four missions and Vasilevskaya's first spaceflight lasted 14 days.

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What Loral O'Hara did on ISS

She conducted various scientific experiments onboard, including research on heart health, cancer treatments and more.

All the different crew members had different duties as determined by their respective space agencies. O’Hara's mission, in line with NASA’s Artemis campaign, focused on lunar exploration and setting the stage for future Mars missions.

The crew members will now undergo medical evaluations and then head to the recovery staging city in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. NASA’s O’Hara will then travel back to the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Back aboard the ISS, Expedition 71 will officially begin. It includes Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Grebenkin, Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub alongside NASA astronauts Michael Barratt, Matthew Dominick, Tracy C. Dyson, and Jeannette Epps.

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