SpaceX’s very busy year continues as astronauts land


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CNN Business

Three NASA astronauts and one European astronaut fell aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule off the coast of Florida just after midnight on Friday, capping the Six-month mission During which they worked alongside Russian cosmonauts and hosted the first all-private crew to visit the orbital outpost.

The crew for this mission is called Crew 3It left the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday morning and spent more than 20 hours flying through orbit aboard the 13-foot-wide capsule before plunging back into the atmosphere and parachuting into its water landing.

The four astronauts on the Crew-3 mission are NASA’s Raja Shari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, as well as German astronaut Matthias Maurer.

After the capsule landed safely, bobbing up and down the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, Shari tells Mission Control: “Thanks for letting us take the [Crew Dragon] Endurance on the journey of extortion.”

“I look forward to seeing more endurance flights in the future,” he said, using the name “endurance” bestowed on the Crew-3 capsule. “That was a great trip. I enjoyed working with the NASA and SpaceX team. Thanks for making it to the space station and back safely.”

This will mark the conclusion of SpaceX’s third operational mission to the International Space Station that the company has conducted in partnership with NASA.

SpaceX has had a turbulent month of activity. It began with the launch of the special AX-1 mission to the International Space Station on April 8, and the company brought that crew home only last week. Then SpaceX launched Crew-4 astronauts, who will replace Crew-3 astronauts on the International Space Station crew, last Wednesday, then immediately began preparing for the return of Crew-3. Meanwhile, the company’s Falcon 9 rocket launched satellites into orbit, including a batch of Starlink’s own Internet satellite, just last Friday.

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SpaceX has already achieved 17 launches so far in 2022, making the first five months of the busiest year in SpaceX history. And more is on the way, with two more Starlink operations scheduled to launch within the next five days. The first to take off on Friday morning, just five hours after the Crew-3 scattered.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon program was intended to bring astronaut launches back to the United States for the first time since NASA’s space shuttle program was retired in 2011, allowing NASA to maintain the space station fully staffed with its own astronauts as well as astronauts from partner space agencies. . Like the European Space Agency (ESA). Before the Crew Dragon entered service in 2020, NASA was relying on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to carry the crew of the International Space Station.

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