SpaceX capsule returns crew of 4 from house station mission By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: NASA’s Crew 5 members depart their crew quarters for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on the Kennedy Area Middle in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – 4 crew members aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule splashed down off Florida’s Gulf coast on Saturday, returning safely from a five-month science mission on the Worldwide Area Station.

The SpaceX capsule, dubbed Endurance, parachuted into waters off the coast of Tampa simply after 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT) carrying two NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut after a roughly nine-hour flight from the orbital analysis lab, a NASA-SpaceX webcast confirmed.

The Crew-5 workforce launched from Florida on Oct. 6 to conduct routine science aboard the station. It included cosmonaut Anna Kikina, 38, who turned the primary Russian to fly on an American spacecraft in 20 years, and NASA flight commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, 45, the primary Native American girl despatched into orbit.

NASA pilot Josh Cassada, 49, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, a veteran of 4 earlier spaceflights, have been additionally aboard.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, a gumdrop-shaped pod designed to launch atop SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, undocked from the house station early on Saturday morning and re-entered Earth’s environment round 8:11 p.m. EST (0111 GMT Sunday), enduring frictional warmth that despatched temperatures exterior the capsule hovering to three,500 levels Fahrenheit (1,930 levels Celsius).

Two units of parachutes deployed to brake the capsule’s descent to fifteen miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour) simply earlier than splashdown.

The mission was SpaceX’s sixth crewed flight for NASA since its Crew Dragon spacecraft first flew people in Might 2020, when it restored crewed launches from American soil after practically a decade of U.S. dependence on Russia’s Soyuz program for house station flights.

Kikina, the one girl in Russia’s cosmonaut corps, was the primary Russian to fly on an American spacecraft below a renewed settlement signed in 2022 between NASA and Russia’s house company to conduct joint flights. NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, presently on the station, launched there on a Soyuz rocket in September.

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