Crew-3 splashes down in Gulf of Mexico

WASHINGTON — A Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down within the Gulf of Mexico Could 6, returning 4 astronauts to Earth after almost six months on the Worldwide House Station.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance splashed down off the coast from Tampa, Florida, at 12:43 a.m. Japanese, after a traditional reentry. Restoration groups positioned the spacecraft onto a ship a half-hour later.

The spacecraft undocked from the ISS almost 24 hours earlier with the 4 Crew-3 astronauts on board: Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron of NASA and Matthias Maurer of the European House Company. The 4 launched to the station on that spacecraft final November.

“We’re glad to be again. Thanks for letting us take Endurance on a shakedown cruise,” Chari, the Crew-3 commander, stated moments after splashdown. “It was an incredible trip.”

The splashdown wraps up an lively month in human spaceflight for SpaceX. The corporate launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour April 8 on the industrial Ax-1 mission for Axiom House. The spacecraft docked with the ISS a day later and its crew of 4 non-public astronauts remained there 15 days, undocking April 24 for a splashdown off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, April 25.

Lower than 39 hours after that splashdown, one other Crew Dragon spacecraft, Freedom, lifted off from the Kennedy House Middle on the Crew-4 mission to the ISS. It docked to the station after a 16-hour journey, delivering NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and and Jessica Watkins and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. They’ll stay on the station till relieved by the Crew-5 mission, projected to launch in September on the identical Endurance spacecraft that returned Crew-3.

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