Going and Coming

JAXA's HTV-4 entering the atmosphere on September 7th.  Credit: ISS and associated agencies.

JAXA’s HTV-4 entering the atmosphere on September 7th. Credit: ISS and associated agencies.

The International Space Station has a been a busy place. The Japanese HTV-4 was undocked on September 4th and it spiraled back towards Earth until on September 7th when this image was taken the ISS. The image shows the HTV-4 as it reentered the atmosphere and burned up ending its resupply mission.

In the mean time, preparations are underway bring Expedition 36 crew members home. Pavel Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy and Alexander Misurkin closed the hatch on the Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft at 20:19 UTC.

The three undocked from the Poisk mini-research module at 23:37 UTC and landed in Kazakhstan at 02:58 UTC (08:58 a.m. Kazakhastan time.

The next crew and soon to be Expedition 37 crew members: Oleg Kotov, Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy are getting ready for a ride to the ISS inside a Soyuz TMA-10M on 25 September 2013. They will be taking one of what I call fast track, from orbit to ISS in just four orbits and they are there.  Incidentally,  the three Expedition Crew members still on the ISS, Commander Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano, were the first to  that that “fast track” route.