The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina inside undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module on March 11 to complete a nearly six-month science mission. Hatch closure was at 12:29 a.m. EST and undocking occurred at 2:20 a.m. EST.
NASA coverage of Crew-5’s return will continue with audio only, and full coverage will resume at the start of the splashdown broadcast. Real-time audio between Crew-5 and flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Audio stream will remain available and includes conversations with astronauts aboard the space station and a live video feed from the orbiting laboratory.
NASA TV coverage will resume at 8 p.m. Saturday until Endurance splashes down at approximately 9:02 p.m. EST near Tampa off the coast of Florida and Crew-5 members are recovered.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission launched on October 5, 2022, on a Falcon 9 rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station the next day.
Before the Crew-5 departure, it was a relaxed Friday aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as crew swap activities began winding down ahead of the return to Earth of four crew members on Saturday. Three cosmonauts remained busy at the end of the week, however, working on orbital household maintenance tasks.
Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada of NASA, Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Anna Kikina of Roscosmos were in their final full day aboard the space station. The quartet had a light duty day getting in a final exercise session before going to sleep early to prepare for their overnight departure activities.
The orbiting lab’s four newest crewmates have completed their first week of station orientation and familiarization tasks. New Flight Engineers Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg from NASA, Sultan Alneyadi of UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Andrey Fedyaev docked to the station aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour on March 3. All but Fedyaev had the day off as they will get up early and support their departing four crewmates when they enter the Crew Dragon Endurance and undock from the station.
Flight Engineer Frank Rubio, who has been aboard the station since September 21, also had a light duty day spending just over an hour on the Food Physiology study before going to bed early with his departing crewmates. Rubio will be assisting the homebound crew before their Saturday departure.
Cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin, station commander and flight engineer respectively, spent Friday working their normal shift servicing a variety of station electronics hardware. Fedyaev spent his day troubleshooting power supply systems and cleaning ventilation fans and filters.
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