Three crew members currently aboard the International Space Station are scheduled to end more than six months on the orbiting laboratory Tuesday, May 13 (U.S. time), and NASA TV will provide complete coverage of their return to Earth, from farewells to landing. (More info available on NASA's website)
Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) will undock their Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft from the station at 5:33 p.m. CDT. The spacecraft will land southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 8:57 p.m. (7:57 a.m. May 14 local time in Dzhezkazgan). Their return will wrap up 188 days in space since launching from Kazakhstan Nov. 7.
Under the command of NASA astronaut Steve Swanson, Expedition 40 formally will begin aboard the station when Expedition 39 undocks. Swanson and his crew mates, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos, will operate the station as a three-person crew for two weeks until the arrival of three new crew members. Reid Wiseman of NASA, Max Suraev of Roscosmos and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency are scheduled to launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on May 28 (U.S. time).
NASA TV coverage of Expedition 39's return to Earth will begin Monday, May 12, with the change of command ceremony in which Wakata will turn over command of station operations to Swanson. Coverage will continue Tuesday and Wednesday with Expedition 39 landing and post-landing activities.
Monday, May 12:
2 p.m. -- Expedition 39/40 Change of Command Ceremony
Tuesday, May 13:
2 p.m. -- Farewells and hatch closure (hatch closure scheduled at 2:15 p.m.)
5:15 p.m. -- Undocking (undocking scheduled at 5:33 p.m.)
7:45 p.m. -- Deorbit burn and landing (deorbit burn scheduled at 8:03 p.m. landing scheduled at 8:57 p.m.)
11 p.m. -- Video File of hatch closure, undocking and landing activities
Wednesday, May 14:
11 a.m. -- Video File of post-landing activities and interviews with Mastracchio and Wakata in Kazakhstan (pending availability)
For more information on the International Space Station, click here.