Crew Dragon Endurance Returns Four to Earth

May 9, 2022 | Crewed Space, Daily Space, NASA, SpaceX

IMAGE: The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship returns to Earth in the Gulf of Mexico for a nighttime splashdown with four commercial crew astronauts inside. CREDIT: NASA

This morning, May 6, at around 0445 UTC, SpaceX’s Dragon C210, more commonly called Endurance, brought the four crew members of NASA’s Crew-3 mission safely back to Earth.

Undocking was the previous evening, May 5, and the astronauts configured the capsule for return. The deorbit burn was fifteen minutes long as usual, and as the capsule reentered the atmosphere, it experienced the standard plasma blackout. Dragon Endurance emerged from plasma blackout on schedule and drogue and Main parachute deployment were completely nominal. After splashdown, the capsule was lifted onto the recovery vessel Shanon, named after Shanon Walker, one of the Crew-1 astronauts.

From there the four astronauts – commander Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, Thomas Marshburn, and Mattias Maurer – were helped from the capsule and after a brief medical checkup, flown in a helicopter back to land. Raja, Thomas, and Kayla were flown to Houston for post-mission activities, and Mattias boarded a plane back to Germany for the same.

The Crew-3 return comes a week after Crew-4 was launched to the International Space Station, which was itself a few days after the return of the Ax-1 mission. A busy few weeks for the ISS program and SpaceX.

More Information

Crew-3 Astronauts Splashdown Ending Six-Month Mission (NASA)

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