Crew Swaps Command and Readies for Homecoming

The six Expedition 49 crew members wave to mission controllers moments after cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin (right foreground) swapped command with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough (left foreground) during a traditional Change of Command Ceremony.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough assumed command of the International Space Station from Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian Federal Space Agency at 3:37 p.m. EDT Friday in a traditional Change of Command ceremony. Expedition 50 will officially begin under Kimbrough’s command when the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Ivanishin, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency undocks from the space station on Saturday, October 29. NASA Television will air live coverage of the departure and landing activities, beginning at 4:45 p.m. Saturday. Hatch closure on the Soyuz is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

The trio is scheduled to return to Earth Saturday at 11:59 p.m. EDT (9:59 a.m. Oct. 30, Kazakhstan time). They will land in their Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. Together, the Expedition 49 crew members contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory.

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