CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has handed over command of the International Space Station has he prepares to return to Earth.
He wrapped up a five-month visit to the giant laboratory, saying it’s time to turn over the reins to Pavel Vinogradov, a Russian cosmonaut.
Hadfield, the first Canadian to command the station, says he’s achieved the goals he set out for himself before making the journey in late December and is leaving both ship and crew “in good shape.
He tweeted this morning that it’s “time to rev up the Soyuz” for the trip home.
Plans call for Hadfield and two other crewmembers to leave the station Monday just after 7 p.m. E-T aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
They’re due to land in Kazakhstan about three and-a-half hours later.
A helicopter will take them to a local airport, where a waiting NASA plane will fly them to Houston, Texas.
While he’s happy to be heading home, Hadfield says both he and his crew “would come back given the opportunity.”
Hadfield sings his new rendition David Bowie’s 1969 smash hit Space Oddity in a music video filmed onboard the ISS posted Sunday.
© 2013 The Canadian Press