Today, an international astronaut crew has landed safely in central Kazakhstan. The two Russian cosmonauts and the American astronaut have spent the past six months on board the International Space Station.
Jeff Williams is the American astronaut who set a US record for the biggest total amount of time spent in orbit. Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka are his Russian counterparts.
A NASA broadcasted live video with Williams smiling and waving after touch down. He was then subject to medical tests.
The three astronauts had spent the mission mainly doing scientific research and experimentation. Williams went out of the International Space Station five times. One of the walks was done together with astronaut Kate Rubins. The two set a docking adapter in place, for future mission capsules to be able to dock to the space station.
Williams played his part in preparing the ISS for future commercial space crafts. The astronaut also lent a hand to setting up an inflatable module, created by Bigelow Aerospace. This will be used to test habitats for astronauts on Moon or Mars missions.
Williams is a retired colonel who spent a total of 520 days in space, during his career. The grandfather is also the oldest US citizen to travel to the space station. His first space voyage took place in 2000.
Back then, the space station had only a couple of modules and room for three members. Today, the International Space Station is maintained by six astronauts and it has the size of a football field.
The all-time record for the total amount of days spent in space belongs to the Russian Gennady Padalka. The cosmonaut spent 879 days in space, in total.
The International Space Station is 260 miles above Earth. It shines so brightly, it can be seen from Houston. The station is the biggest human craft in space. It symbolizes progress, invention, and cooperation between nations.
The International Space Station was built in Houston. The astronauts who fly to it are trained at the Johnson Space Center.
The 100-billion-dollar station is home to a variety of experiments which lead to many advances in health and technology. Most times, there are 250 science experiments going on aboard the space station. Research in zero gravity has expanded human understanding in many fields.
One example is the biological research which determined how bacteria cause food poisoning.
The ISS was built in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, Japan, and Canada. Without the international partnership, the station would not have been possible.
Image Source – Wikipedia