Astronaut Onishi Comes Back Down To Earth After 4 Months In Orbit

Astronaut Onishi comes back down to Earth after 4 months in orbitJapanese astronaut Takuya Onishi landed safely back on Earth aboard the Russian space capsule Soyuz after a “fun” and “fulfilling” nearly four-month stint in the International Space Station.
Onishi, 40, landed in a steppe in central Kazakhstan on Oct. 30 at 9:58 a.m. local time (0:58 p.m. JST, Oct. 30) along with two other astronauts from Russia and the United States.

“I had a lot of fun,” Onishi said. “I was able to have fulfilling time for four months. Thank you for all the support.”

And the astronaut’s first impression of being back on terra firma seemed to be led by his taste buds.

“The air on Earth is delicious,” he said.

Soyuz was disconnected from the ISS on Oct. 30 just after 6:30 a.m. It orbited Earth at 28,800 kph before entering the atmosphere. The capsule opened its parachute at an altitude of about 8,000 meters and touched down safely without a hitch while retrofiring to cushion the landing.

Onishi was carried out of the capsule in the arms of project staff as astronauts cannot move about freely until they become re-accustomed to gravity and regain strength. He waved at the gallery, looking safe and sound.

Onishi is the sixth Japanese astronaut to visit the ISS for a long-term stay. He left Earth on July 7 and spent 115 days in space.