Members of Expedition 45 crew returned on Soyuz TMA-17M to Earth.
Today, after 141 days of living on ISS, two astronauts: Kjell Lindgren (NASA), Kimiya Yui (JAXA) and one cosmonaut: Oleg Kononenko (Roscosmos) board on Soyuz TMA-17M docked into MRM-1 module to prepare for flight. At 9:49 UTC Soyuz deattached and started to move towards the Earth. At 12:19 UTC Soyuz fired engines to reduce speed and get into Earth atmosphere. After 52 minutes of flight throug dense layers of atmosphere and reaching peak temperature at 1600° C, on 13:12 UTC Soyuz firmly landed on covered with snow Kazakhstan steppe. It was first touchdown after sunset, what in combination with wind and snowfall was not making task for RSC Energia rescue team easier. Four from eight helicopters usually utilized during rescue missions were not able to lift-off due the weather conditions. Fortunatly 300 men, four helicopters, two planes and various ATV vehicles reach Soyuz capsule without any problems. All three crew members remain in good health.