Astronaut Anne McClain Returns To Earth From Space Station Mission
After 204 days in space, American astronaut Anne McClain successfully returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Monday. She was supported by two of her Expedition’s 59 crewmates. They landed safely in Kazakhstan after months of science and four spacewalks aboard the microgravity laboratory, Nasa.gov reported.
After touching ground, McClain took to Twitter to share a quote from T.S. Eliot: “And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
They had spent more than 200 days on board the International Space Station. “It takes about 3.5 hours between undocking from the space station to landing in Kazakhstan. It’s been described as a roller coaster or a washing machine — dynamic, but also a precise and highly choreographed process,” wrote McClain on Twitter about a week before coming home.
The trio — McClain, Expedition 59/Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency arrived at the orbiting laboratory on Dec. 3, 2018. “It’s really amazing how the human mind and body can adapt to new environments. How the once incredible can become so normal,” wrote McClain on Twitter on Thursday (June 20), four days before her return to Earth. “I encourage all humans to do something out of your comfort zone that forces you to adapt. You’ll be pleasantly surprised of your capabilities.”
Over the past six months, the crewmembers were conducting hundreds of science experiments and oversaw the arrival and departure of several robotic resupply ships. “We tried to perform all of the tasks that were assigned to us,” said Kononenko during a brief change of command ceremony held on Sunday on board the space station. “All crew members were participating in our spacewalks, we all were performing a lot of experiments, a good amount of repair work has been performed as well, and we were really lucky to work together.”
McClain, who is currently living in the Houston area (where NASA’s Johnson Space Center is located), was to carry out the first-all female spacewalk earlier this year. It was supposedly cancelled due to a shortage of the right-sized spacesuit on the ISS. She later said the plan was altered as a matter of safety and according to them, efficiency comes first, the Fox News reported.
Astronaut Christina Koch along with Anne McClain had to take a spacewalk on March 29, which was to mark a historic event as the first-all female spacewalk, was cancelled by NASA due to a work in progress on a second set of battery replacements on a power channel on the International Space Station (ISS).
On March 22, Hague and McClain operated the first spacewalk from a series of three. On March 29, Koch took her first spacewalk. As per reports, McClain was to perform her second spacewalk on April 8, for the third of the series, and was be accompanied by Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques.
Feature Image Credit: NASA