NASA Expedtion 60 astronauts return from International Space Station

NASA has announced the return of astronaut Nick Hague from the International Space Station, alongside Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and visiting astronaut Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the space administration said.

Hague and Ovchinin, as part of Expedition 60, launched March 14, along with fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch. Six hours later, they began their 203-day mission on the station, orbiting Earth 3,248 times and traveling 86.1 million miles.

Koch remains aboard the orbiting laboratory for an extended mission that will provide researchers the opportunity to observe effects of long-duration spaceflight on a woman, in preparation for human missions to the Moon and Mars. She is expected to return to Earth in February 2020, almost a year after her launch.

The Expedition 60 crew contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, including investigations into devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument to measure Earth´s distribution of carbon dioxide.

Hague conducted three spacewalks during his mission, totaling 19 hours and 56 minutes. Ovchinin conducted one spacewalk lasting 6 hours and 1 minute. Hague completes his second flight in space totaling 203 days.

When the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft with Hague, Ovchinin and Almansoori undocked, Expedition 61 officially began aboard the station, with NASA astronauts Koch, Meir and Morgan, cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos as flight engineers, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano as the station´s commander.