The four astronauts from the Crew-3 mission returned safely to Earth from the International Space Station, splashing down on their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Friday, May 6. The 12:43 a.m. ET spray in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida ended the crew’s 177-day space mission.

The crew included three NASA astronauts, Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, who were taken on spacecraft to restore SpaceX and then to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

From left to right, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron see each other in the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft aboard the SpaceX Shannon lifeboat shortly after landing in the shores of Tampa, Florida, Friday, May 6, 2022. Maurer, Marshburn, Chari, and Barron return to space in 177 days as part of Expeditions 66 and 67 aboard the International Space Station. NASA / Aubrey Geminiani

“NASA’s partnership with SpaceX has once again enabled us to safely deliver crew to the space station and back, allowing for innovative science that will help our astronauts travel farther into space than ever before. “This mission is just another example that we are truly in the golden age of commercial spaceflight,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in statement. “Kayla, Raja, Tom and Matthias, thank you for your service and welcome home!”

The four astronauts disembarked from the International Space Station at 1:05 a.m. on May 5. You can see footage from the descent in the video below:

The four arrived at the space station on November 11, 2021 with the Dragon spacecraft named Endurance, which remained attached to the front port of the Harmony module space station. During the nearly six-month mission, according to NASA, the crew traveled 75,060,792 miles and completed 2,832 orbits around the Earth.

The crew completed three space walks during their stay, mainly as part of the ongoing process of upgrading the space station’s energy system by installing new solar arrays. They also conducted research, including working on experiments to grow plants in space without soil using hydroponic and aeroponic methods, how astronauts’ eyes change during space missions, and whether optical fibers can be produced in microgravity .

Members of Expedition 67 remain on the space station, including three Russian astronauts, plus three NASA astronauts and one ESA astronaut, who form the recently arrived Crew-4.

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