The SpaceX and NASA Crew-5 is back on earth after successfully splashing down after a nearly 6-month long science mission.
The capsule safely kissed the surface of the Gulf of Mexico after all parachutes deployed off of the coast of Tampa.
The U.S.-Russian-Japanese crew spent five months at the International Space Station, arriving last October. Besides dodging space junk, the astronauts had to deal with a pair of leaking Russian capsules docked to the orbiting outpost and the urgent delivery of a replacement craft for the station’s other crew members.
Led by NASA’s Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to fly in space, the astronauts checked out of the station early Saturday morning. Less than 19 hours later, their Dragon capsule was bobbing in the sea as they awaited pickup.
Also onboard is NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina.
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“That was one heck of a ride,” Mann radioed moments after splashdown. “We’re happy to be home.”
The astronauts docked at the ISS on Oct. 6 and officially undocked to head home on Saturday at 2:20 a.m. after spending 157 days in space.
At 10:30 p.m. NASA will have a return to earth media teleconference from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:
- Steve Stich, Manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
- Joel Montalbano, Manager, International Space Station, NASA Johnson
- Sarah Walker, Director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX
- Hiroshi Sasaki, Vice President, JAXA
Splashdown!#Crew5 is back on Earth, completing a science mission of nearly six months on the @Space_Station. Their @SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft touched down at 9:02pm ET (0202 UTC March 12) near Tampa off the coast of Florida. pic.twitter.com/nLMC0hbKY4— NASA (@NASA) March 12, 2023
NASA released a map showing where the SpaceX Dragon Endurance will be visible as it streaks through the night sky before splashing down.
Will you see @SpaceX's Dragon Endurance streak through the skies as #Crew5 heads home tonight?— NASA (@NASA) March 11, 2023
This map highlights where and when Crew-5 is most likely to be visible immediately before splashdown at 9:02pm ET (0202 UTC March 12). Share your photos if you spot it! pic.twitter.com/OgJIsctpOv
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