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Soyuz MS-09 undocking, landing

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, left, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, center, and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst pose for a crew photo in the space station’s cupola window. Credit: NASA

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, left, NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, center, and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst pose for a crew photo in the space station’s cupola window. Credit: NASA

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor are set to return to Earth in their Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft on Dec. 20, 2018.

The trio was original supposed to land Dec. 13, 2018, but because of the Oct. 11, 2018, Soyuz MS-10 launch abort, this date of the crew’s return was postponed by about a week. Additionally, the Soyuz MS-11 crew launch was moved forward to Dec. 3.

Soyuz MS-09 return timeline

—Dec. 18—

Change of Command Ceremony: 21:40 UTC
Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst formally handed over command of the space station over to soon-to-be Expedition 58 Commander Oleg Kononenko.

—Dec. 19—

Hatch closure: 22:30 UTC

—Dec. 20—

Undocking: 1:40 UTC
Deorbit burn: 4:10 UTC
Landing: 5:03 UTC

Once Soyuz MS-09 undocks from the space station, Expedition 57 will officially conclude and Expedition 58 — consisting of Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques — will start with Kononenko serving as commander.

NASA TV departure coverage is expected to start at 21:45 UTC Dec. 19.

Live updates

Earlier Event: December 11
Russian EVA-45a
Later Event: December 20
Start of Expedition 58