Four astronauts NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 has returned safely to Earth after 199 days of scientific research at the International Space Station.
Astronauts splashed off the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on Monday, completing the agency’s second long-running commercial crew mission into international space.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshideand an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet returned to the country in a parachute-assisted splash at 10:33 PM EST off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
Speaking of splashing, NASA administrator Bill Nelso “We are delighted to have Shane, Megan, Aki and Thomas return safely to Earth after another successful, record-breaking long journey to the International Space Station. Congratulations to the NASA and SpaceX teams who worked so hard. NASA’s commercial crew program continues to demonstrate the importance of safe and reliable transportation. and to perform space station maintenance. “
The Crew-2 mission was launched on April 23 with a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Crew Dragon Endeavor docked at the front gate of the Harmony module space station on April 24, nearly 24 hours after takeoff.
During their mission, Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet traveled 84,653,119 miles, spent 198 days at the space station, and completed 3,194 orbits around the Earth.
During their mission, astronauts participated in numerous scientific and maintenance activities, scientific research, and technology demonstrations. They even performed four spacewalks and several public events while in orbit in the lab. They studied the behavior of gaseous flames in microgravity, raised green chiles at the Plant Habitat Facility, installed free-flying robot assistants, and even used virtual reality glasses to test new methods for space training, among many other scientific activities.
Astronauts took hundreds of images of the earth as part of the Crew Earth Observation, one of the longest-running studies on the space station to help track natural disasters and change on our home planet.
Kimbrough, Hoshide, and Pesquet also conducted four spacewalks to install, deploy, or otherwise prepare for the installation of the ISS Roll-out Solar Arrays system. This raised the total number of spacewalks in Kimbrough, Hoshide and Pesquet to nine, four and six.
The crash of Crew-2 comes just before the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 operation, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday.