NASA's Crew-3 astronauts splash down in Atlantic Ocean
by Amy Thompson
Orlando FL (UPI) May 06, 2022
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft has splashed down safely. Dragon Crew-3 was carrying NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer on their return to Earth after a nearly six-month science mission.
After a 24-hour delay to be sure of weather conditions in the Atlantic Ocean, NASA's Crew-3 returned to Earth on Friday with a splashdown just off the coast of Florida.
The Dragon Endurance capsule splashed down at 12:43 a.m. EDT in one of seven landing zones in the Atlantic, the agency said Thursday.
Crew-3's departure was delayed by a day as officials worked to better understand weather conditions in the planned splashdown zones, with forecasters finally giving the all-clear to undock from the International Space Station on Wednesday.
After splash down, recovery teams will hoist the capsule out of the water, the crew will be extracted and then they'll flown via helicopter to Cape Canaveral before returning to Houston.
The crew said goodbye to the seven astronauts left on board ISS before boarding Endurance spacecraft and undocking from the station at 1:05 a.m. EDT.
After piloting itself away from ISS on Thursday, Endurance will have spent just under 24 hours in space before its splash down in the ocean on Friday.
Crew-3 launched to the space station on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Nov. 10, and arrived at ISS the next day to start their six-month mission.
After welcoming a private crew of astronauts to ISS for the first time, spending 16 days with Axiom Space's Ax-1 crew, Crew-3 then welcomed the astronauts that will take over for them -- Crew-4 -- and spent the last week bringing them up to speed on science work already in progress.
NASA's Crew-4 -- Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, and Bob Hines and the European Space Agency's Samantha Cristoforetti -- flew to the space station on April 27 for their own six-month mission.
Source: United Press International
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