March 12, 23:18
YEKATERINBURG, November 19 (Itar-Tass) — The search party of Russia’s Central Military District has successfully completed the evacuation of the crew of the Soyuz spacecraft. The military district press service told Itar-Tass that the descent module of the Soyuz TMA-05M spaceship landed near the city of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan on Monday morning. Taking part in the operation were more than 250 servicemen of the Central Military District. The operation also involved 14 helicopters, four planes and six specialised search and recovery vehicles.
“The crew after landing felt very cheerful, the astronauts were in a good mood, their health condition is satisfactory,” the operation’s chief, commander of the search and rescue party of the district’s Air Force and Air Defence Force Lieutenant-Colonel Grigory Melekhov said. The descent module was loaded on the search and recovery vehicle, known as the “Bluebird” and taken away from the point of landing.
Three crewmembers: Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams and Japanese Space Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide landed in the descent module. One day before the landing, the spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) and entered the prescribed orbit. The spaceship braking engines were switched on and it was de-orbited, continuing the descent in the Earth’s atmosphere in a controlled mode.
Despite the fact that the point of landing had been pre-calculated, the landing of the descent module was monitored by aircraft. The spacecraft landed in the normal mode. The pilots reported the landing site accurately and the recovery team was dispatched there by helicopter.