The Indo-American astronaut Raja Chari was among four astronauts aboard the Space X spacecraft, which crashed safely in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, USA, on Friday after spending nearly six months on the International Space Station.
Raja Chari, along with Kayla Barron, Tom Marshburn – all NASA astronaut and European Space Agency (ESA) Matthias Maurer returned to Earth by parachuting in the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, USA at 12:43 EDT, completing the third long-term commercial mission of the crew to the International Space Station.
The landing signals the end of the Crew-3 mission of the astronauts who spent 177 days in orbit on the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft to the ISS.
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“NASA’s partnership with SpaceX has once again enabled us to deliver crew safely to the space station and back, enabling innovative science that will help our astronauts travel farther into space than ever before,” NASA said in a statement.
“This mission is just another example that we are truly in the golden age of commercial spaceflight,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Raja, Kayla, Tom and Matthias, thank you for your service and welcome home!” The statement said.
According to the report, the Crew-3 mission launched on November 10 with a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Nearly 24 hours after takeoff on November 11, Endurance docks at the front port of the Harmony space station. The astronauts left the same port at 1:05 a.m. on May 5 to begin their journey home.
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Barron, Charry, Marshburn and Maurer traveled 75,060,792 miles during their mission, spent 175 days aboard the space station and completed 2,832 orbits around the Earth.
The Crew-3 flight is part of NASA’s commercial crew program, and its return to Earth follows the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4, which docks at the station on April 27, launching another scientific expedition.
NASA’s commercial crew program aims to transport safely, reliably and cost-effectively to and from the International Space Station. This has already provided additional time for research and increased the ability to find aboard humanity’s microgravity stand for research, including helping NASA prepare for human exploration of the moon and Mars.