After more than six months in space NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the ESA, and Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos bid farewell to the International Space Station. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A three-member crew departed the International Space Station on Thursday (June 11) after more than six months in space. NASA astronaut Terry Virts, Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos spent 199 days aboard the orbiting outpost, performing scientific research and technology demonstrations. According to NASA, the crew members travelled more than 135 million km (84 million miles) since their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on November 24, 2014. The astronauts were due to undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station at 1020gmt, Thursday morning, landing later in Kazakhstan. The crew's homecoming was delayed by four weeks to allow the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, to investigate why a Russian Progress cargo ship failed after reaching orbit in late April. On Wednesday (June 10) Expedition 43 commander Terry Virts handed over command of the International Space Station (ISS) to Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency. Expedition 44 will formally begin, under the command of Padalka, after the undocking of the Soyuz spacecraft that is carrying the three returning astronauts.