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Maine Astronaut Aboard The International Space Station To Return To Earth

NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy (right) and Robert L. Behnken during an interview aboard the International Space Station, Monday, June 29, 2020.

York astronaut Chris Cassidy will return to Earth Wednesday night, our time, after spending more than half a year aboard the International Space Station.

Cassidy turned over command of the station to a Russian Cosmonaut on Tuesday and said the time aboard the station went quickly.

“Expedition 63 has gone by super fast. We joke around that there’s only Mondays and Fridays and it’s a big blur of time between,” he said.

Cassidy said among the highlights of his stay was the arrival of the first SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with a crew aboard.

“Sprinkle in there some spacewalks, some progress cargo vehicles and some American cargo vehicles and some crazy situations with the space station systems and it’s just been an incredible six months of our lives,” he said.

A second crewed Dragon will take off next month bringing four astronauts to the Space Station, as its crew size grows from six to seven.

Cassidy, riding in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, is to touch down at 10:55 p.m. Eastern, which will be Thursday morning in Kazakhstan.

This was Cassidy’s third space flight. When he touches down, he will have spent 378 days in space, the fifth highest total among U.S. astronauts.