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'Crew 3' Astronauts return to Earth

Splashdown happened in Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida!

Endurance Capsule being hoisted to the deck of the rescue ship "Shannon" (NASA)

May 06, 2022 NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron and Thomas Marshburn and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer of USCV-3 safely landed aboard the capsule of their SpaceX Crew Dragon C210 Endurance spacecraft in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa. , Florida at 12:43 pm EDT (04:43 UTC) after 176 days 2 hours and 39 minutes in space aboard the International Space Station.


The Crew-3 mission launched Nov. 10 2021 on a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Nearly 24-hours after liftoff, Nov. 11, Endurance docked to the Harmony module’s forward space station's PMA-2 port. The astronauts undocked from the same port at 1:05 a.m. May 5, to begin the trip home..

The crews from the recovery ship Shannon , including two speedboats, soon arrived at the Dragon's landing site to neutralize the spacecraft and prepare it for hoisting onto the boat's deck. As the fast boat crews completed their work, the Shannon approached and hoisted Dragon onto the main deck with the astronauts aboard. Once on the main deck, the crew were removed from the cockpit and underwent medical examinations before being flown by helicopter to the nearby airport where they boarded a plane to Houston.

Science and Activities on Station

The Crew-3 astronauts contributed to a host of science and maintenance activities and technology demonstrations. In addition, they conducted three spacewalks to perform station maintenance and upgrades outside the space station. This brought the total number of spacewalks for Marshburn to five (one spacewalk on crew 3 mission), while Chari and Barron have each completed two, and Maurer with one outing.

Crew-3 built on previous work investigating how fibers grow in microgravity, used hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without soil or other growth material, captured imagery of their retinas as part of an investigation that could detect eye changes of astronauts in space automatically in the future, and performed a demonstration of technology that provides measurements of biological indicators related to disease and infection, among many other scientific investigations. The astronauts took tons of pictures of Earth as part of the Crew Earth Observation investigation, one of the longest-running investigations aboard the space station, which helps track natural disasters and changes on Earth.


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