astroengine writes "An unexplained communications loss left flight controllers unable to speak with three space station crew returning to Earth over Kazakhstan during the last 15 minutes of their descent Thursday night. The first indication that the capsule survived its fiery plunge through the atmosphere was a series of beeps signaling components of the Soyuz had been jettisoned as planned. Later, ground controllers picked up signals that the Soyuz's parachutes had deployed, but it wasn't until a Russian recovery aircraft established two-way radio communications with the crew that flight controllers knew all was well."
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