KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. – NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-3 arrived home Friday morning after a six-month stint at the International Space Station.
The Crew-3 astronauts successfully undocked from the space station at 1:20 a.m. Thursday and the Dragon capsule carrying them splashed down off Florida’s coast in Tampa at 12:42 a.m. Friday, according to space officials.
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Watch Dragon and the Crew-3 astronauts return to Earth → https://t.co/9K5LBza2W0 https://t.co/v2BZgvfrmV— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 6, 2022
“On behalf of the entire SpaceX team, welcome home... It’s been an absolute honor to support you on this mission, Endurance Crew, and thanks for flying SpaceX,” space officials said over SpaceX’s livestream.
The Crew-3 team, comprised of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket back in November 2021 and spent six months at the space station conducting science experiments and doing maintenance.
The @SpaceX #Crew3 astronauts undocked from the International Space Station in the Dragon Endurance spacecraft at 1:20am ET. They are due to splashdown at 12:43am ET on Friday, May 6 off the coast of Florida. https://t.co/jN2w2TPYSI pic.twitter.com/740K9zfyct— International Space Station (@Space_Station) May 5, 2022
“Thanks for letting us take Endurance... looking forward to watching more flights with Endurance in the future. It was a great ride and enjoyed working with the SpaceX and NASA team for getting us up to the space station and back so quickly,” Chari said after the splashdown.
SpaceX brought up their U.S. and Italian replacements last week, after completing a charter trip to the station for a trio of businessmen.
That amounts to two crew launches and two splashdowns in barely a month. Musk’s company has now launched 26 people into orbit in less than two years, since it started ferrying astronauts for NASA. Eight of those 26 were space tourists.