MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, as well as NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, undocked on Friday from the International Space Station (ISS) and started its return to Earth, a broadcast of the Roscosmos space corporation showed.
The crew said goodbye to astronauts remaining at the ISS and closed the hatches at 1.43 a.m. Moscow time (22:43 Thursday GMT). At 4.53 a.m. Moscow time, the ship undocked from the ISS, and the propulsion system started deboosting at 7.22 a.m. Moscow time. The ship started its descent from orbit and was soon split into compartments, after which the main parachute opened.
According to the broadcast, a warning signal sounded in the US segment of the ISS some 10 minutes before the undocking.
Causes of the incident remain unknown.
Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as well as US astronaut Christopher Cassidy, will remain on the ISS until 22 October.
Taking into consideration the COVID-19 outbreak, evacuation is set to be conducted through a fast-track procedure. After evacuation, the crew will be taken to Baikonur on helicopters, where medical experts will examine their health, although this is usually done in a special tent.
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