The faceless horror of empty spacesuits with their helmets masked in protective coverings is a particular form of dystopian future. Go ahead and keep your space station; we’ll stay here on Earth without the creeptastic vibe.

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The astronauts of Expedition 44/45 are preparing return to Earth after six months on the International Space Station. This expedition is first space journey for NASA’s Kjell Lindgren and the Japanese space agency JAXA’s Kimiya Yui, and the third mission for Roscosmos’s Oleg Kononenko. While in orbit, they’ve progressed research into growing vegetables, studying how microbes survive and evolve in the station, and characterized the behaviour of liquid crystals in microgravity amongst other experiments.

The crew will land in a Soyuz spacecraft in Kazakhstan on December 22, 2015.

Top image: Spacesuits being prepared for return-to-Earth. Credit: NASA/Kjell Lindgren


Contact the author at mika.mckinnon@io9.com or follow her at @MikaMcKinnon.