Highlights from ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet's return to Earth at the end of his six-month Proxima mission to the International Space Station on 2 June 2017. After farewells and hatch closure, Thomas and his Expedition 50/51 crewmate and Soyuz commander Oleg Novitsky undocked from the International Space Station at 12:47 CEST (10:47 GMT). Just a few hours later their spacecraft reentered Earth's atmosphere, landing in the Kazakh Steppe at 16:10 CEST (14:10 GMT). Thomas and Oleg were helped out of the Soyuz by a recovery crew and, after medical checks, they were flown to Karaganda airport where they received the traditional welcoming ceremony. Thomas then flew directly from Karaganda to Cologne, in Germany, home to the European Astronaut Centre, to start post-flight testing.
Thomas and Oleg spent 196 days in space. Thomas took part in more than 60 experiments during his Proxima mission. His experiments are helping to understand the human brain, ocean currents and radiation in space, how atoms behave and tested new spacecraft materials. Other highlights included his two spacewalks to improve and maintain the Space Station.