Ax-3 Astronauts Undock in Dragon from Station for Earth Return

The SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft (left) backs away from the space station carrying four Axiom Mission 3 astronauts. The SpaceX Dragon Endurance (right) is pictured docked to the Harmony module's space-facing port. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Dragon Freedom spacecraft (left) backs away from the space station carrying four Axiom Mission 3 astronauts. The SpaceX Dragon Endurance (right) is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing port. Credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft undocked from the space-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 9:20 a.m. EST over the Pacific Ocean, west of Ecuador, to complete the third all-private astronaut mission to the orbiting laboratory, Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3).

Dragon is slowly maneuvering away from the orbital laboratory into an orbital track that will return the astronaut crew and its cargo safely to Earth, targeting a splashdown off the coast of Daytona, Florida, at approximately 8:30 a.m. EST Friday, Feb. 9.

Ax-3 astronauts Michael López-Alegría, Walter Villadei, Marcus Wandt, and Alper Gezeravci will complete 18 days aboard the orbiting laboratory at the conclusion of their mission. The SpaceX Dragon will return to Earth with more than 550 pounds of science and supplies, including NASA experiments and hardware.

Joint operations with the Axiom and SpaceX mission teams end and NASA coverage of the mission concludes when the spacecraft exits the area of the space station, approximately 30 minutes after undocking.

Axiom Space leads independent mission operations for Ax-3 and will resume coverage of Dragon’s re-entry and splashdown.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on X, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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One thought on “Ax-3 Astronauts Undock in Dragon from Station for Earth Return”

  1. It’s 20h30 in South Africa, Wednesday 07 Feb 24. Just watched the ISS flying past followed by the glow of Ax-3 which un-docked earlier. This time around I had been hoping to observe the two but not confident that they would be visible still in close proximity to each other. An exciting observation, nonetheless. Science in motion.

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