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Splashdown! NASA SpaceX Crew-5 Safely Returns to Earth

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance is seen as it splashes down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 9:02 p.m. EST, returning Crew-5 to Earth. Credit: NASA TV

NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXAFormed in 2003, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) was born through the merger of three institutions, namely the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) and the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA). JAXA performs various activities related to aerospace, from basic research in the aerospace field to development and utilization and is responsible for research, technology development, and launch of satellites into orbit, and is involved in advanced missions such as asteroid exploration and possible human exploration of the Moon.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina splashed down safely in the SpaceXCommonly known as SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company that was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Headquartered in Hawthorne, California, the company designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX's ultimate goal is to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>SpaceX Dragon Endurance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 9:02 p.m. ESTEST is an abbreviation for Eastern Standard Time, the time zone for the eastern coast of the United States and Canada when observing standard time (autumn/winter). It is five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, and the Kennedy Space Center are in the Eastern Time Zone (ET).” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>EST on March 11, 2023, after 157 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 Tampa to board a plane for Houston.

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship, carrying four Crew-5 members, approaches the International Space Station 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean southwest of the Hawaiian island chain in this photo from October 6, 2022. Credit: NASA/Kjell Lindgren

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:20 a.m. EST on March 11. Around 40 minutes before splashdown, it completed its deorbit burn as expected. Then, around four minutes before splashdown, the drogue parachutes deployed at approximately 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon was moving around 350 miles per hour. Less than a minute later, the main parachutes deployed at about 6,000 feet in altitude while the spacecraft was moving at approximately 119 miles per hour.

Source: SciTechDaily