SpaceX crew landed safely back on Earth early Friday morning off the coast of Florida. The crew of four spent the past six months in the international space station. The crew splashed into the waters west of Tampa at around 12:43 am after speeding to Earth at 17,500mph then slowing down to around 500 mph, then proceeding to a 38-minute freefall into the water with two giant parachutes attached.
The trip contained three Americans and one German crew member, “NASA's Crew-3 commander Raja Chari, pilot Thomas Marshburn and mission specialist Kayla Barron, along with mission specialist Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency,” according to Space.com. "That was a great ride," said Chari, also noting, "only one complaint. These water bottles are super heavy."
The crew spent the last six months in space conducting science experiments and also performed a few spacewalks. The international space station is located in Earth’s low orbit and is equally owned by four countries including the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan, as well as Europe. Astronauts typically spend about six months at a time in the ISS. Only 7 crew members are allowed on the ISS at one time. Those seven travel at a speed of five miles per second and orbit Earth every 90 minutes. During one 24-hour period people on Earth experience one sunset and one sunrise while those on the ISS experience 16 sunsets and sunrises.
Russia is now under the control of the ISS with its crew of seven including, “Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov and NASA's Crew-4 astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency.” These seven will occupy the ISS for the next six months and although there has been tension between Russia and the U.S. after the war broke out in Ukraine, a Russian astronaut described it as a “place of peace.” Chair stated, "Looking forward to watching many more flights of Endurance in the future. It was a great ride. Enjoyed working with the NASA and SpaceX teams. Thanks for getting us up to the space station and back safely."
SpaceX is famously known for being owned by the richest man on Earth, Elon Musk. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation was founded in 2002 and was founded by Elon Musk. Since SpaceX was founded, they have had 156 launches, 118 landings, and 95 reflown rockets, according to its website. “It is the only private company capable of returning a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit, and in 2012 our Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station.”
After the Crew3 Dragon crew landed Friday morning, fast boats then approached the crew and took about a 10-minute check before attaching hoist rings and lifting line to Dragon. It will then take about an hour to take them to the recovery boat where they will go through medical examinations then take a four-hour helicopter ride to land and if each crew member passes their checkups then they will depart for Houston where they can be reunited with friends and family.
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