Space

NASA SpaceX Crew-3 Astronauts Splashdown Ending Six-Month Mission on ISS

NASA SpaceX Crew 3 Splashdown

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship returns to Earth in the Gulf of Mexico for a nighttime splashdown with four commercial crew astronauts inside. Credit: NASA

NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer splashed down safely in the SpaceX Dragon Endurance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 12:43 a.m. EDT on May 6 (9:43 a.m. PDT on May 5) after 177 days in space.


NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, returned to Earth for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida on May 6, 2022, completing their six-month mission living and working aboard the microgravity laboratory to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies for future human and robotic exploration flights as part of NASA’s Moon and Mars exploration approach, including lunar missions through NASA’s Artemis program. Credit: NASA

The Dragon Endurance spacecraft completed its deorbit burn as expected ahead of splashdown. Four minutes before splashdown, the drogue parachutes deployed at about 18,000 feet (~5,500 meters) in altitude while Dragon was moving approximately 350 miles per hour (~560 km per hour), and less than a minute later, the main parachutes deployed at about 6,000 feet (~1,800 meters) in altitude while the spacecraft was moving approximately 119 miles per hour (~192 km per hour).

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft is seen just after undocking from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 1:20 a.m. Credit: NASA TV

Teams on the Shannon recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safe for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Dragon onto the main deck of Shannon with the astronauts inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to board a plane for Houston.

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