Soyuz MS-20 Spacecraft Safely Returns Japanese Space Tourists back to Earth

Three Optolink's TRS-500 fiber-optic gyroscopes, installed into control system of Descent Module of the latest Soyuz modification, Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft, successfully executed their mission during landing.  A crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and Japanese space tourists Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano have safely returned from space to Earth, The landing module safely landed on-target about 148 kilometers southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan around 10:13 p.m. EST Sunday, December 19, 2021 (around 9:13 a.m. Monday, December 20, Kazakhstan time). The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-20 crewed vehicle was launched on Drcember 08, 2021 at 08:13 Kazakhstan time. Alexander Misurkin spent 346 days in space. The Japanese billionaire and his assistant became the first tourists in more than twelve years to fly to the ISS on the Soyuz spacecraft.  The crew performed 9 experiments in various fields of science according to the Russian scientific program. Earlier this month, the International Space Station surpassed its 21-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique research and technological demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and also improve life on Earth. During that time, 251 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory, which has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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