Sitting on the steppes after landing on earth, the astronauts remained in their capsule seats as they readjusted to earth’s gravitational forces after the four months of living in weightless conditions. As is standard procedure with space missions, the astronauts were taken to a medical tent for examinations.
The crew-members left behind at the ISS were only able to spend a week with the returning astronauts, taking part in training missions and a change of command ceremony at the station on Friday.
“I’m kind of reluctant to close the hatch,” Ivanishin said during the ceremony. “The time is very special here … I didn’t have time to know what’s going on our planet, and maybe it’s for the better. On the space station, you live in a very friendly, very good environment.”
Ivanishin transitioned control over the station to NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, who reached the ISS along with Russian crew-members Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko on Oct. 21. The new crew will work alone, but will welcome three new members next month when another mission commences.