Three crew members from the 57th International Space Station (ISS) Expedition returned to Earth on Thursday after a 197-day mission to the orbital complex after going through a turbulent period because of an oxygen leak and the failure of launching a rocket that had to carry a new crew.
The ship that was carrying German Alexander Gerst, from the European Space Agency (ESA), to American Serena Auñón-chanceler, NASA and for the use Sergey Prokopiev, from Roscosmos, landed a little earlier than planned outside the city of Zhezkazgan in Kazakhstan at 8:02 am in Moscow.
The first major incident occurred on August 30, when it was discovered an oxygen leak due to a very small hole in its Soyuz spacecraft coupled to the ISS. Hole was successfully repaired, but Russia opened an investigation later Dimitri Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, alluded to the hypothesis of sabotage and a possible "premeditated act" on Earth or in space. Rogozin later said that the researchers ruled out the possibility of a manufacturing failure.
The return to Earth of Sergei Prokopiev, Serena Auñon-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst was originally scheduled for December 13, but had to be postponed after the failure of launching a Soyuz rocket on October 11 and the relentless return to Earth of its two occupants , the American Nick Hague and the Russian Alexei Ovchinin. It was the first aborted launch of the post-Soviet era.