After an extended business trip, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik has returned home. But instead of taking a red-eye back from a trade show in Las Vegas, he parachuted into the atmosphere in a capsule pod.
Brensik is one of the six astronauts of Expedition 53 who were stationed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 139 days. On Thursday, three of the six crew members returned home after working on numerous experiments during their time on board. The trio landed near a remote town in Kazakhstan at 2:37 p.m. local time. The landing went smoothly and it took around 20 minutes to extract the team from their capsule.
A lot of people would probably be happy to be back on their home planet after an extended stay on a giant space dorm. But Bresnik seemed sad to bid the final frontier farewell:
Besides his work in the lab, Bresnik got to partake in some awesome astronaut activities. He led three spacewalks with two other astronauts. During each one of these, Bresnik and his team provided maintenance to crucial parts of the ISS, which included replacing a part of the Canadarm2, one of the station’s robotic arms used to pick up incoming payloads.
For now, three other astronauts will run operations aboard the ISS. That might seem like a skeleton crew, but the space station has a capacity of ten members. The remaining three will have to hold down the fort until the next group of astronauts arrives on Tuesday, December 19.
Bresnik won’t be returning just yet, but you can’t keep space dad from his natural habitat. We think he’ll be back in orbit in no time.