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[b]Soyuz TMA-22 crew returning to Earth on Friday[/b]
The six astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station packed cargo and shifted their sleep schedule Thursday as three Expedition 30 crew members prepare to return to Earth early Friday after five and a half months in space.
Expedition 30 commander Dan Burbank and flight engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who arrived at the orbiting complex on Nov. 16, are set to undock in their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft at 3:18 a.m. CDT Friday (0818 GMT) for a landing in the steppe of Kazakhstan at 6:45 a.m. CDT (1145 GMT).
Their departure will mark the end of Expedition 30 and beginning of Expedition 31 under the command of Oleg Kononenko, who along with flight engineers Andre Kuipers and Don Pettit will remain aboard the station until July. Three additional Expedition 31 crew members – flight engineers Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba – will arrive at the complex aboard the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft May 17.
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