Record-breaking NASA astronaut return back to Earth

Record-breaking NASA astronaut return back to Earth

The aircraft will bring Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) astronaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA's astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson, back to earth.

NASA said it would review its schedule for Whitson and Fischer to return to the city.

The Mission Control Center reports that the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft has undocked from the International Space Station with three crew members on board.

Back at the space station, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky will be the only three crewmembers on board until September 12, when the Expedition 52/53 crewmembers arrive.

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Whitson, a biochemist, set a breakneck pace on all three of her space station expeditions, continually asking for more _ and still more _ scientific research to do.

The crew will participate in standard post-flight medical evaluations.

Returning cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin logged even more time in space: 673 days over five missions. Her record is just shy of only one other US astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent 340 consecutive days in space.

Whitson has completed a 288-day mission that kicked off in November 2016, spanning 122.2 million miles and 4,623 orbits of Earth - her third long-duration stay on the outpost.

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Whitson ranks behind a handful of Russian cosmonauts record-setters who spent time on Russia's Mir space station as well as the International Space Station (ISS), where Whitson spent her most recent mission. The astronauts will then fly back to the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany, where the NASA Gulfstream jet will pick them up and take them back to Houston.

The US astronauts are based in Houston, which is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the widespread flooding left in its wake.

According to NASA's latest report, the entire group of scientists have conducted several number of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity's only orbiting laboratory.

"Our home is fine, but so many friends and co-workers have been impacted [by the storm]", Whitson said in an interview with NASA. Her just-concluded mission lasted 288 days.

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