166 days after leaving Earth, University of Illinois graduate Mike Hopkins has safely returned from his stint on the International Space Station.
The Expedition 38 crew is greeted by Russian recovery teams on the frozen plains of Kazakhstan after 166-day mission. pic.twitter.com/5wfqHkYipU— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) March 11, 2014
Hopkins lifted off on September 25 as part of Expedition 37, the first of the 2009 astronaut class to journey to space.
Hopkins graduated from the University of Illinois in 1991 with a degree in aerospace engineering before earning his masters from Stanford University. Hopkins was also captain of the Fighting Illini football team.
Welcome back to Earth, Mike Hopkins!
Hopkins is a prolific user of Twitter, frequently sharing some photos that are (terribly sorry for this bad pun) out of this world. Here are some of our favorites:
Chicago looks amazing at night. pic.twitter.com/Logb1UFCLv— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) October 5, 2013
Checked out our Sokul suits today in preparation for returning to Earth next Monday. Can't believe it's almost time! pic.twitter.com/uDyIevPtIa— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) March 3, 2014
Hey University of Illinois. It took a while, but I finally got a cloud free pass. Looking good! pic.twitter.com/M6DW5IhkSv— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) March 4, 2014
from south of Hudson Bay to I'm not sure what the white line is...... pic.twitter.com/IJtKbRZSLJ— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) March 1, 2014
Southern lights were absolutely stunning tonight! pic.twitter.com/y20Rkkc2uv— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) February 27, 2014
Colorful night over Canada! pic.twitter.com/n4CWH7cHDd— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) February 1, 2014
Beautiful sunrise with a hint of moon... pic.twitter.com/XzY3PUXMFM— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) January 30, 2014
Koichi and I with Cygnus in the background right before capture on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/jEpA27bMMu— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) January 14, 2014
Happy New Year from Exp38. Beautiful day on station! pic.twitter.com/rQvrn5bGno— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) January 1, 2014
Wow...can't believe that is me yesterday. Wish I could find the words to describe the experience, truly amazing pic.twitter.com/FnjM5DLHSg— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) December 22, 2013
We've had a lot great night passes over Europe the past week. pic.twitter.com/jomSWFSbR2— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) December 12, 2013
Moonrise on station, different perspective but still awesome! pic.twitter.com/tf6uZQlMLx— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) November 12, 2013