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Hello, spaceman: Commander Hadfield is back on earth

The astronaut bid farewell to the station yesterday with a David Bowie song – but now he’s back on earth.

COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD, the Canadian astronaut who showed us the world in a new way (and became a global star in the process), has landed back on earth.

Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), left, Russian Flight Engineer Roman Romanenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), center, and NASA Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn sit in chairs outside the Soyuz Capsule. Pic: NASA/Carla Cioffi

He and fellow Expedition 35 members, cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and astronaut Tom Marshburn, left the International Space Station, which had been their home for 144 days, yesterday evening.

They landed in their Soyuz capsule in a remote area outside the town of Dzhezkazgan, Kasakhstan, right on time: 2.31am GMT, 10.31pm EDT.

To make their return and leave their home for the past number of months, the trio climbed into the Soyuz capsule that would bring them back to earth, while being cheered on (and hugged) by fist-pumping colleagues.

After a series of checks, during which the men got comfortable in an extremely tight space, the hatches were closed and the Russian Soyuz vehicle was detached from the ISS.


The man at the controls of the spacecraft was Romanenko, as it undocked last night from the Rassvet module.

The capsule brought them through the earth’s atmosphere, where they began to experience gravity for the first time in months, and down to the Kazakhstan field. There, the trio – who, though tired and readjusting to gravity, were smiling following the successful arrival – were examined by medical experts.

The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft is seen as it lands. Pic: NASA/Carla Cioffi

NASA explained that Russian recovery teams were on hand to help the crew exit the vehicle and adjust to gravity.

Thanks to Hadfield's son Evan, the commander's Twitter and Facebook feeds were kept updated throughout the journey:

Pic: Evan Hadfield/Twitter

His father's most recent tweet captures the poignancy of his return home:

The Canadian commander and proud moustache bearer bid farewell to the ISS in classic Cmdr Hadfield fashion: with a video of him singing the David Bowie classic Space Oddity inside the station.

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(Chris Hadfield/YouTube)

Now that these three Expedition 35 members are back on earth, it's time for Expedition 36 members to take over.


The Canadian Space Agency welcomed Cmdr Hadfield's return by saying he achieved a historic milestone, becoming the first Canadian to command the ISS.

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency said:

Over the past five months, Chris Hadfield has confirmed our country's world-renowned space expertise, with accomplishments reaching beyond his role aboard the Station.

Thanks to Cmdr Hadfield's illuminating and educational videos and tweets, generous love for music, and infectiously positive attitude, we have a new understanding of what the men and women aboard the ISS do - and the world (and space) will never look the same to us again.

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

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