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Space Station Crew’s Return to Earth Delayed by ‘Horrible’ Weather [UPDATE]

Space Station Crew Members Oleg Novitskiy, Kevin Ford and Evgeny Tarelkin Will Return to Earth Late Tonight (NASA/Bill Ingalls/Getty)

Have you ever dreamed of going to space?

Three crew members who have been orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station since October of last year are returning to their home planet.

Their landing on the frigid steppes of Kazakhstan in Central Asia has now been pushed back to Friday, March 15, due to ‘horrible’ weather near the touch down area.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin had been aboard the International Space Station for 141 days and will now spend an extra day orbiting Earth inside a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

The landing is now scheduled for Friday, March 15, at 9:06 p.m. MDT according to NASA officials.

The rain and fog in Kazakhstan is not a threat to the Soyuz spacecraft and crew, but the recovery helicopters essential for retrieving the astronauts after the landing would not be able to make it to their staging grounds because of bad weather conditions.

This isn’t the first time weather has affected a Soyuz spacecraft’s landing. In 2009, another Soyuz craft had it’s return to Earth delayed by a day because snowy conditions on the ground made the landing potentially unsafe.

A new crew will launch on March 28 to ferry cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov, Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy to the International Space Station.

 

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