NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer splashed down safely in the SpaceX Dragon Endurance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 12:43 a.m. EDT after 177 days in space.
Teams on the Shannon recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safe for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Dragon onto the main deck of Shannon with the astronauts inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to board a plane for Houston.
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer on their return to Earth after a nearly six-month science mission has completed its deorbit burn as expected ahead of splashdown at about 12:43 p.m. EDT in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida.
Four minutes before splashdown, the drogue parachutes will deploy at about 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 350 miles per hour, and less than a minute later, the main parachutes deploy at about 6,000 feet in altitude while the spacecraft is moving approximately 119 miles per hour.
NASA TV coverage available online and via the NASA app will continue until the crew is recovered from the spacecraft.
Watch the agency’s live coverage as NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft are nearing the final stages of return before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico at 12:43 a.m. EDT. Weather conditions remain within the splashdown weather criteria and are “Go” at the primary targeted site off the coast of Tampa, Florida.
Here are the upcoming approximate milestones (all times Eastern):
Thursday, May 5
11:47 p.m. – Dragon performs claw separation. The claw is located on Dragon’s trunk, connecting thermal control, power, and avionics system components located on the trunk to the capsule.
11:48 p.m. – Trunk jettison
11:53 p.m. – Deorbit burn
FRIDAY, MAY 6
12:01 a.m. – Deorbit burn complete
12:04 a.m. – Nosecone closed
12:27 a.m. – Dragon maneuvers to attitude for re-entry
12:39 a.m. – Drogue parachutes deploy at about 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 350 miles per hour.
12:40 a.m. – Main parachutes deploy at about 6,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 119 miles per hour.
12:43 a.m. – Dragon splashdown
The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft with NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer inside undocked from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 1:20 a.m. EDT to complete a nearly six-month science mission.
The return timeline with approximate times (all times Eastern):
Thursday, May 5
11:48 p.m. Trunk jettison
11:53 p.m. Deorbit burn
FRIDAY, MAY 6
12:04 a.m. Nosecone closed
12:43 a.m. Dragon splashdown
NASA will continue to provide live coverage until Endurance splashes down off the coast of Florida and the Crew-3 astronauts are recovered off the coast of Florida.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission launched Nov. 10 on a Falcon 9 rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station Nov. 11.
At 11:20 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 4, the hatch closed between the Dragon Endurance spacecraft and the International Space Station in preparation for undocking and return to Earth of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and Tom Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer.
NASA Television will air live coverage beginning at 12:45 a.m. Thursday, May 5, for undocking scheduled at 1:05 a.m. and continue coverage through their splashdown off the coast of Florida at about 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6.
Crew-3 is targeting a return to Earth about 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6, with a splashdown off the coast of Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 1:05 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, to begin the journey home.
Dragon will autonomously undock, depart the space station, and splash down at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Endurance also will return important and time-sensitive research to Earth.
Marshburn and his Crew-3 crewmates Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer have been living aboard the orbital lab since November 11, 2021, and are set to depart tonight. Hatch closure is set for 11:20 p.m. EDT, with undocking following at 1:05 a.m. EDT. The commercial crew quartet is due to splashdown off the coast of Florida at 12:43 a.m. EDT on Friday, May 6. Watch live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the app.
The Crew-3 astronauts worked on final Dragon cargo operations and configuring Dragon for departure, final egress, and hatch closure, as well as transferring emergency hardware from Dragon to the space station prior to departure. The Endurance crew closed out research operations which included transferring and packing frozen samples and ice bricks from the Minus Eighty (Degrees Celsius) Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) into coldbags in preparation for the return to Earth. MELFI provides the space station storage and fast-freezing of life science and biological samples. The Crew-3 astronauts also removed and stowed their Actiwatches, small, lightweight, wrist-worn devices that simultaneously detect body movement and light intensity. They are used to evaluate sleep-wake adaptation and circadian cycle and determine if space travel has an impact on the sleep-wake patterns of crewmembers.
The station’s four newest astronauts, Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti, had a light duty day performing some life science, lab maintenance, and inventory tasks. The foursome and their three Russian crewmates are due to have an off-duty day following the departure of the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.
In the station’s Russian segment, Artemyev and Flight Engineers Sergey Korsakov and Denis Matveev performed monthly maintenance checks on laptops and video equipment, as well as physical training, and a robotic piloting experiment.
NASA and SpaceX managers continue to plan for the departure of four commercial crew astronauts aboard the International Space Station this week. A change of command is also on tap as the 11 orbital residents transition to a seven-member crew before the end of the week.
NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, with ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer are nearing the end of their space research mission that began in November. The quartet will first see Marshburn hand over station command to Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev who will lead Expedition 67 until late summer. The following day, the four astronauts will enter the SpaceX Dragon Endurance, undock from the Harmony module’s forward port, then splashdown off the coast of Florida about 24 hours later.
The four departing astronauts have been handing over their responsibilities to the station’s newest quartet that arrived on April 27 aboard the Dragon Freedom. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins with Samantha Cristoforetti from ESA are in the first week of a four-and-a-half-month research mission on the orbiting lab.
Over in the Russian segment of the station, Artemyev took turns with Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov working out for a study exploring ways to maximize the effectiveness of exercise in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev worked on resupply activities inside the ISS Progress 80 cargo craft before cleaning ventilation systems.
Four astronauts who have been aboard the International Space Station since November continue to prepare for their return to Earth. This comes at the same time as four new astronauts are beginning their mission and getting used to living and working aboard the orbiting lab.
Expedition 67 Commander Tom Marshburn is getting ready to hand over station control to Roscosmos Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev. The traditional change of command ceremony will take place Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. EDT live on NASA TV’s app and website, when the station’s nine flight engineers witness Marshburn handing over the station’s leadership role to Artemyev.
In the meantime, Marshburn and Flight Engineers Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer, are packing up and preparing for their return to Earth. The quartet will board the SpaceX Dragon Endurance later this week then undock from the Harmony module’s forward port ending their stay on the space station. Chari will command the ride back home when the foursome parachutes to a splashdown off the coast of Florida about a day after undocking.
Meanwhile, the station’s four newest crew members, who have been on the station less than a week, are kicking off their first science experiments while also getting up to speed with lab systems and operations.
Artemyev, on his third space station mission, is about to take command of the Expedition 67 crew until late summer. Today, he worked on a pair of Russian experiments exploring future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques, as well as effective ways to exercise in weightlessness. Flight Engineer Denis Matveev inspected the ISS Progress 80 cargo craft then continued cleaning up after April 28’s spacewalk to activate the European robotic arm. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov swapped out a Russian computer before participating in more space exercise research at the end of the day.
NASA astronauts Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, and Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, and Mission Specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) now are aboard the International Space Station following Crew Dragon’s hatch opening about 9:15 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 27.
Crew-4 joins Expedition 67 crew of Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, all of NASA, Matthias Maurer of ESA, and cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Sergey Korsakov, and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos.
NASA TV coverage will conclude shortly after hatch opening and return for live coverage of the welcoming ceremony at 2:40 a.m. Thursday, April 28.
Crew-4 astronauts launched to International Space Station at 3:52 a.m. Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew of four will spend several months on the orbital complex on a science expedition mission.