This Week at NASA Recap for Friday, April 27, 2012

NASA astronaut and Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank officially transferred the helm of the orbiting outpost to Russian cosmonaut, Oleg Kononenko who, along with NASA astronaut Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency, has now begun Expedition 31.

Two days later, Burbank and his Expedition 30 crewmates, Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, said their farewells, climbed into their Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft and departed the station for the trip back to Earth. After a five-and-a-half month stay onboard the ISS, Burbank, Shkaplerov and Ivanishin landed safely in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, the other three members of Expedition 31, NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba, and his Russian crewmates, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin, participated in pre-launch activities at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. The trio is scheduled to launch to the ISS on a Soyuz spacecraft on May 15 to join Pettit, Kuipers and Kononenko. Also, Space Shuttle Enterprise is flown to The Big Apple, the next-generation J-2X Engine is ready for more tests, Snowballs make waves in Saturn's outer ring and more!

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