Commander Dan Burbank (w/microphone) announcing turnover of command to Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko.
With the Progress M-15M cargo spacecraft safely docked and supplies stored, Expedition 30 ended with a simple ceremony aboard the ISS. Broadcast on NASA TV, Commander Dan Burbank of Expedition 30 officially turned over command to cosmonaut Oleb Kononenko. The change of command starts the mission of Expedition 31.
The members of Expedition 30 boarded their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft for the return to Earth and undocked on April 27. With Commander Burbank were cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin.
TMA-22 moves away from ISS.
After a retrofire burn and only 3 and a half hours after undocking, the re-entry capsule landed safely in Kazakhstan.
Remaining on the ISS and starting Expedition 31 are Commander cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Cosmonaut Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers, and NASA Astronaut Don Pettit. They will be joined by the second half of Expedition 31 in the middle of May by Joe Acaba, Gennady Padalka, and Sergei Revin. The current three occupants went immediately to work maintaining the station, working experiments, and living life in space.
Commander Kononenko in the hatch between the Zarya and Zvesda modules, working on a pressure equalization valve (PEV).
By Mark Daymont
Space Center Educator