Steppe adventures – Soyuz TMA-11M landing expedition
May in the steppe of Kazakhstan is probably the most pleasant time. The snow has gone away, the soil is not wet any more, a lot of green grass around and there is no that heat yet, which will come in just couple of weeks. Exactly in such perfect conditions we went to welcome space crew after their orbital shift.
This time we organized an expedition to the landing site of Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft descent module that returned back crewmembers of expedition 38/39 to the International Space Station. As it was originally planned the landing happened on May 14 at 5:58 Moscow time, 140 km from the city of Zheskazgan. Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos, Rick Mastracchio of NASA and Koichi Wakata of JAXA successfully returned to the Earth after half a year mission to the ISS.
Traditionally the team of our expedition was comprised not only by fans of manned space exploration programs, but also by representatives of Japan mass media, who consider every landing of Japanese astronaut to be a really great event. And within last several year, after many trips to Kazakhstan they became professional not only in their job, but in search and rescue operations as well.
It’s worth noticing that every time more and more ladies take part in our extreme expeditions despite severe conditions in winter and exotic insects in summer. And every time awards find their heroes. Once again we are the first at the landing site. Once again journalists made perfect reports for their agencies, including live standups from landing point.
Fascinating safari in the steppe, outstanding local cuisine, perfect weather and very hospitable city of coal-miners – Karaganda, with all its sights can easily touch everyone’s feelings. And after such a great journey a soon return to the steppe of Kazakhstan doesn’t need any discussion.