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Astronauts Bid a Final Farewell to the ISS: A New Era of Space Exploration Begins

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Astronauts Bid Farewell to the ISS: A New Era of Space Exploration Begins | An Essential Six-Month Transition from a 24-Year-Long Mission.
For the first time in modern history, humans have left the International Space Station (ISS) for potentially more permanent outposts beyond it. After an extended 24-year mission, NASA’s three visiting astronauts and Russian cosmonauts completed their ‘human maintenance period’ on the module’s docked Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft and launched toward Earth on April 30th.
The process is being referred to as a ‘one-way ticket’. The first two astronauts left Friday morning while the Carpenter, Scott Kelly are expected to depart by midsummer on Sunday. Commander Kelly Hodgson then returns to Earth with NASA and International Space Agency colleagues aboard Russia’s Soyuz MS-03. These unprecedented plans aim at engineering a cleaner and safer transit to Mars after 2025 and allowing astronauts back already well in advance by groundbreaking advancement of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, doing so at reeling costs of less than a $90 million each and with minimal environmental disruption once the crew departs.

The farther away we venture into profound space, the more we become part of terra incognita. Trying new concepts even as old as reentry like emergency redundancies or dedicated recovery capsules are being evaluated in earnest under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program along with SpaceX Dragon recoveries flying parachutes across warmer ocean surges than ever.
As human knowledge expands out beyond our planet once more – expanding humanity’s horizons – we acknowledge that there remain plenty of hazards in space that need to be solved before leaving the house for good.”
Sources:
• NASA Johnson Site

• NASA Johnson Site

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