Soyuz TMA-20 successfully undocked from the ISS at 17:35 EDT (21:35 GMT/22:35 BST), carrying Commander Dmitry Kondratyev, NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli towards south central Kazakhstan, for a landing due at 22:26 EDT (02:26 GMT / 03:26 BST Tuesday).
Soyuz TMA-20 before separation burn - Credit: NASA TV
Soyuz visible behind Endeavour's tail - Credit: NASA TV
After a quick separation burn Soyuz rotated to bring its alignment to the optimum angle, so Paolo Nespoli could move into the habitation module to start the historic image recording. Using both HD Video and high resolution digital camera stills, Nespoli captured the ISS and Endeavour as they moved 120 degrees to present the best angle for the the event.
Endeavour visible bottom right centre of ISS (during Soyuz roll) - Credit: NASA TV
The ISS then moved 120° to provide Nespoli the best angle - Credit: NASA TV
Nespoli took HD Video footage and High-Res digital stills - Credit: NASA TV
A second separation burn then moved the Soyuz towards it’s final destination in Kazakstan. After landing and recovery, the memory cards containing the imaging data will be copied, before heading to Houston and Moscow for processing. NASA expect to release the first images on nasa.gov sometime Tuesday afternoon/evening.
The event finished just as the ISS and Endeavour crossed the Chilean coast into night - Credit: NASA TV
The landing is scheduled to be covered on NASAT TV, so watch in the embedded video in the previous post, or click here to visit NASA TV direct!
We can’t wait to see those images!
EDIT – Click here for the long awaited photographs!