The three international crew members of the Soyuz MS-16 mission are in the process of returning to Earth following the undocking of their Soyuz spacecraft from the International Space Station at 19:32 EDT (23:32 UTC).
A parachute and retro-rocket assisted landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan is expected around 22:55 EDT on Wednesday, 21 October (02:55 UTC on Thursday, 22 October) after a 196 day mission covering 133.5 million kilometers (83 million miles) over 3,136 orbits of Earth.
Prior to undocking, NASA astronaut and Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy handed over command of the Station to Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov, who along with Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Kathleen Rubins arrived on the Station on 14 October on the Soyuz MS-17 flight.
The Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft’s hatch was closed at 16:24 EDT (20:24 UTC), initiating a sequence of steps to prepare the Soyuz, Station, and the two craft’s respective crews for the undocking.
Release of Soyuz MS-16 from the Station’s Poisk module came at 19:32 EDT (23:32 UTC).
The undocking process occurred when the Soyuz’s hooks between the two vehicles were opened before the separation sequence passively propelled Soyuz away from the Station at an opening rate of 0.1 meters per second.