Cervantes mission concludes with Soyuz TMA-2 landing

The mission proceeded flawlessly with the completion of the experiment programme, the changeover of ISS Expedition crews and the exchange of the Space Station's Soyuz TMA lifeboat.

The Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft undocked from the ISS at 00:17 (CET) today with Duque as Flight Engineer, Yuri Malenchenko (Rosaviakosmos) as Commander and Edward Lu (NASA) as 2nd Flight Engineer. All phases of the re-entry went according to plan. After module separation of Soyuz TMA-2, the crew entered the Earth's atmosphere in the command module at 03:16 (CET), the main parachute opened at 03:25 (CET) and the landing took place 15 minutes later.

During his 8-day stay on the ISS, Pedro Duque carried out an extensive programme of scientific, technological and educational experiments as part of the Cervantes mission, a majority of which were sponsored by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology.

"The experiment programme has been a complete success", said ESA Mission Manager, Aldo Petrivelli, "and results have been obtained for all 22 experiments. These included two physical science experiments, which utilised the European-built Microgravity Science Glovebox on the ISS, four biological experiments, four human physiology experiments and a number of educational experiments and technology demonstrations."

During the Cervantes mission Pedro Duque had numerous contacts with the media from Spain and Germany. He talked via amateur radio with primary schoolchildren, winners of the Habla ISS competition, who had the chance to ask him questions. He also spoke live from the ISS to Jos Mara Aznar.

"We are both delighted and proud of the success of all aspects of the mission and thankful to our Russian partners", said Mr Jrg Feustel-Bechl, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight. "This is the fourth such Soyuz mission to the ISS with an ESA astronaut, which strengthens the ties and experience we share with our colleagues at the Russian space agency, Rosaviakosmo

Contact: Franco Bonacina
European Space Agency

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