Luca, Christina and Alexander in Soyuz MS-13
Science & Exploration

Record-breaking spacewalker returns from orbit

06/02/2020 2975 views 35 likes
ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano returned to Earth today alongside NASA astronaut Christina Koch and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, marking the end of his second six-month International Space Station mission known as ‘Beyond’.

Returning in the same Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft that flew Luca, Alexander and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan to the Space Station on 20 July 2019, the trio touched down in about 30 cm of snow in the Kazakh Steppe on 6 February at 09:12 GMT (10:12 CET), as scheduled. The Soyuz landed upright and all three crew members emerged from the module smiling and looking well.

Envihab
Envihab

Luca will now fly directly to Cologne, Germany, where he will continue to be monitored by ESA’s space medicine team as he readapts to Earth’s gravity at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) and DLR’s ‘:envihab’ facility.

Luca’s return to Earth marks the successful conclusion of his Beyond mission. During this mission Luca became the third European and first Italian in command of the International Space Station, performed four complex spacewalks to maintain the cosmic-ray-detecting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer AMS-02, gained the European record for most cumulative hours spent spacewalking at 33 hours and 9 minutes, remotely operated a rover in the Netherlands as part of the Analog-1 experiment, delivered an important climate change message to leaders at the UN climate change conference in Madrid, and supported over 50 European experiments as well as 200 international experiments in space.

DJ Luca in space
DJ Luca in space

He also played the first ever DJ set in space and shared numerous images of our planet and his activities on the Station.

Thursday 6 February marked day 201 of his Beyond mission and Luca has now spent 367 noncumulative days in space across two missions – this is the longest of any ESA astronaut.

Back on Earth, Luca will continue working with European researchers on experiments including Acoustic Diagnostics that looks into the impact of the Space Station environment on astronaut hearing, the TIME experiment that looks at whether astronauts judge time differently in space, and two experiments known as Grip and GRASP that look into the physiology behind eye-hand coordination and the role of gravity in regulating grip force, among others. 

Luca at Soyuz MS-13 landing site
Luca at Soyuz MS-13 landing site

The findings of research conducted as part of Luca’s Beyond mission will help shape the future of human and robotic exploration while enhancing technological developments on Earth.

Find out more about Luca and his second space mission in the Beyond brochure – available to download in English and Italian – as well as Beyond mission podcast, ESA Explores, and the Beyond playlist over on YouTube.

Play
$video.data_map.short_description.content
Intense ‘Beyond’ mission for Luca
Access the video

Related Articles

Day and night
Science & Exploration

A space cocktail of science, bubbles and sounds

19/08/2019 3593 views 72 likes
Read
Luca performs GRIP experiment on the International Space Station
Science & Exploration

Two weeks of science and Beyond

05/08/2019 3036 views 50 likes
Read
Expedition 60 crewmembers in front of a mural of the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission
Science & Exploration

Preparing science Beyond Earth

08/07/2019 2088 views 55 likes
Read
Luca, Drew and Alexander take a selfie with their Soyuz spacecraft
Science & Exploration

Beyond hatch opening – watch live

26049 views 142 likes
Read
Members of Expedition 60 pose with their Soyuz launcher
Science & Exploration

Europe celebrates a launch and a landing

17/07/2019 921 views 12 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

Luca Parmitano returns to the International Space Station

21/07/2019 5353 views 88 likes
Read
Luca
Science & Exploration

ESA launches new podcast for Beyond mission

20/06/2019 2740 views 52 likes
Read
Science & Exploration

Luca Parmitano goes Beyond

27/09/2018 5594 views 44 likes
Read
Luca spacewalk
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano to be Space Station commander …

31/05/2018 8674 views 93 likes
Read
CAVES-X1
Science & Exploration

Exploring underground with a colliding drone

22/05/2017 10099 views 103 likes
Read
Matthias, Luca and Pedro
Science & Exploration

One small step for a geologist

13/11/2016 2569 views 25 likes
Read
Waterwalk
Science & Exploration

Luca Parmitano: this year’s Captain NEEMO

06/07/2015 5293 views 37 likes
Read
Luca Parmitano
Science & Exploration

Chance to meet ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano

14/02/2013 1562 views 2 likes
Read
Soyuz TMA-09M, Volare mission patch, 2013
Science & Exploration

Luca Parmitano flying high

07/09/2012 2344 views 5 likes
Read
Luca Parmitano
Science & Exploration

ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano assigned to 2013 Space Station…

18/02/2011 2607 views 3 likes
Read
Luca spacewalk
Science & Exploration

Luca Parmitano

173045 views 479 likes
Read
Dragon capture
Science & Exploration

Learning how to catch a spacecraft

04/06/2012 937 views 3 likes
Read
Soyuz MS-11
Science & Exploration

Lung health, algae and radiation research on Space Station

24/06/2019 1128 views 22 likes
Read

Related Links