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Three Astronauts Will Return To Earth, Watch Live (VIDEO)

Mar 14, 2013 02:14 PM EDT
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Three astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth from the International Space Station on Thursday night.

Two Russian and one American astronaut will reenter Earth after 141 days in outer space.

NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin will return home on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which has been relied on to transport people to and from the space station since NASA retired the space shuttle program in 2011.

The Soyuz is intended to touchdown on late Thursday night in Kazakhstan.

At 5:15 p.m. EST the three astronauts will board the spacecraft after a brief farewell ceremony; the craft will not undock from the space station until 8:30 p.m. EST. It will take just over three hours for the craft to return to Earth. It is expected to touch down in the frigid Central Asian countryside at 11:57 p.m. EST.

Viewers can watch the landing of the spacecraft here.

On Wednesday a change of command ceremony took place aboard the space station. U.S. astronaut Ford was in charge of the Expedition 34 mission. Expedition 35 will begin seamlessly, with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield taking command.

Hadfield is the first Canadian to take command of the space station.

A video of Hadfield playing guitar aboard the space station can be seen below.

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