Col. Terry Virts (centre) with sunglasses, and British pilot Captain Hamish Harding, third from right, pose with other crew members in Florida. AP
Terry Virts was part of the team whose 46-hour, 39-minute and 38-second polar circumnavigation flight ended where it began. They set the duration and speed records in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.
Their average speed was 535 mph (861 kph).
Dubbed "One More Orbit," the flight paid homage to next week's 50th anniversary of humanity's first moon landing.
Virts' former space station crewmate, Russian Gennady Padalka, was on the first two legs of the flight. Padalka, the world's space champ with 879 days in orbit, left during a fueling stop. Virts said in a tweet that the three stops were "NASCAR pit-stop intense." Each stop lasted less than an hour.
The plane departed from the former space shuttle landing strip Tuesday at 9:32am — the same liftoff time as Apollo 11's Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969. It crossed over the North Pole, stopped in Kazakhstan and then Mauritius, crossed above the South Pole, stopped in Chile, and then returned to Florida.
The speed record, as recognized by the World Air Sports Federation, was last set in 2008. That was 511 mph (823 kph). The "One More Orbit" crew also set a Guinness World Record for flight duration, last set in 1977 in San Francisco at 54 hours. Representatives for both organizations were present for Thursday's landing.
As Earth grew ever smaller below his spacecraft, Apollo 10 commander Tom Stafford made an unusual request to mission control.
NASA engineers have recently installed the legs and wheels, known as the mobility suspension on the Mars 2020 rover, according to a latest release of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
India is looking to take a giant leap in its space programme and solidify its place among the world's spacefaring nations with its second unmanned mission to the moon, this one aimed at landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.
In a ghastly incident in Pakistan's Faisalabad city, a medical student was tortured, humiliated and sexually harassed for refusing to marry an older man (influential businessman), who is also the father of her friend, media reports said on Wednesday.
The airlines’ crews will distribute the customs’ declaration forms during the flights among all passengers, irrespective of their nationality. The declaration forms will be deposited at the customs` counters before the immigration desks at all airports.
With the theme “Recover Faster, Rise Stronger”, Indonesians across the globe at approximately 288 million, commemorated on Wednesday, August 17, their 77th Freedom Day from The Netherlands.
An Arab child drowned in a bathtub in his family’s house, after being left unattended. This was reported last Tuesday, when the Operations Room of the Sharjah Police received a report stating that a two-and-a-half-year-old Arab child drowned in a bathtub in his family’s house.