4 astronauts have returned residence from a six-month keep on the Worldwide Area Station, making a splashdown touchdown aboard their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule off the coast of Florida on Monday.
The astronauts, members of the Crew-6 mission run collectively by NASA and SpaceX, departed the area station on Sunday at 7:05 am ET. The crew spent the day aboard the 13-foot-wide Crew Dragon automobile because it maneuvered via Earth’s orbit and towards its goal touchdown website off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, the place they landed after midnight ET.
The Crew Dragon capsule was touring at greater than 17,000 miles per hour (27,000 kilometers per hour), and because it started the ultimate leg of its descent, the spacecraft’s exterior heated as much as about 3,500 levels Fahrenheit (1,900 levels Celsius) whereas it sliced again into the thickest a part of Earth’s ambiance. Contained in the spacecraft cabin, the passengers had been protected by a warmth protect and the temperature ought to’ve stayed at comfy temperatures nicely beneath 100 levels Fahrenheit (37.eight levels Celsius).
The capsule then deployed units of parachutes to additional gradual its descent. Rescue crews ready close to the splash down website are ready to haul the spacecraft out of the ocean and onto a particular boat, referred to as the “Dragon’s nest,” the place remaining security checks will happen earlier than the crew can disembark.
Earlier than the astronauts left the area station, NASA mentioned that it had been monitoring the affect of Hurricane Idalia, which made landfall Wednesday morning on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The storm pummeled northern Florida earlier than tearing via southern Georgia and into the Carolinas.
The 4 astronauts that make up the Crew-6 group embody NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, in addition to Sultan Alneyadi, the second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to journey to area, and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
The group spent six months on board the orbiting laboratory after launching to the station in March. Over the previous week, the Crew-6 astronauts labored to welcome and hand over operations to Crew-7 group members, who arrived on the area station on August 27.
Throughout their stint in area, the Crew-6 astronauts had been slated to supervise greater than 200 science and tech tasks.
“We got a lot done during our mission,” Hoburg mentioned throughout a distant information convention with the astronauts on August 23. “We had two visiting SpaceX cargo vehicles — the CRS-27 and 28 missions with lots of science on board. And we, as a crew, conducted a total of three spacewalks.”
Throughout their keep, the Crew-6 astronauts additionally hosted the Axiom Mission 2 crew, a gaggle of 1 former NASA astronaut and three paying prospects that included an American businessman and two astronauts from Saudi Arabia. That flight was a part of a plan to fly vacationers and different paying prospects recurrently to the Worldwide Area Station, as NASA has sought to extend the quantity of economic exercise in low-Earth orbit.
“It’s been a big adventure and a lot of fun,” Hoburg added.