September 4th, 2023
Three astronauts and one cosmonaut returned to Earth in a SpaceX Dragon capsule after spending roughly six months aboard the Worldwide Area Station.
Crew Dragon Endeavour splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at 12:17 a.m. EDT (04:17 UTC) Sept. 4. Aboard the Crew-6 mission had been NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
“After spending six months aboard the Worldwide Area Station, logging practically 79 million miles throughout their mission, and finishing a whole bunch of scientific experiments for the advantage of all humanity, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 has returned dwelling to planet Earth,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in an agency statement. “This worldwide crew represented three nations, however collectively they demonstrated humanity’s shared ambition to succeed in new cosmic shores. The contributions of Crew-6 will assist put together NASA to return to the Moon underneath Artemis, proceed onward to Mars, and enhance life right here on Earth.”
This was the completion of the sixth ISS crew rotation flight carried out by SpaceX underneath NASA’s Business Crew Program. Liftoff occurred at 12:34 a.m. EST (05:34 UTC) March 2 atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Area Middle in Florida. The capsule and its occupants docked with the house station about 25 hours later.
This was the fourth spaceflight for Bowen, who has now accumulated 227 days in space. His different three flights had been aboard house shuttle Endeavour in 2008, Atlantis in 2010 and Discovery in 2011.
Bowen is the one astronaut to fly in back-to-back house shuttle missions — STS-132 and STS-133. In January 2011, only a month earlier than STS-133 was scheduled to fly to the ISS, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra was injured in a bicycle accident. Because of his spacewalk experience, Bowen was his replacement.
The 186-day Crew-6 mission was the primary spaceflight for Hoburg, Alneyad and Fedyaev.
All through the vast majority of their mission, the Crew-6 quartet had been a part of the bigger seven-person Expedition 69 aboard the ISS. Over the course of the final six months they participated in a wide range of science experiments and know-how demonstrations.
Three spacewalks had been additionally carried out. All three included Bowen, who was partnered with Hoburg for 2 and Alneyadi for one. All had been carried out in preparation and set up of two new ISS Roll-Out Photo voltaic Arrays to enhance the outpost’s energy provide.
Bowen’s 10 spacewalks over his 4 missions give him a profession complete time of 65 hours and 57 minutes spent outdoors the ISS in a spacesuit. This places him in third place for essentially the most extravehicular exercise time, simply behind former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria (now an astronaut for Axiom Area), who’s 10 spacewalks complete 67 hours and 40 minutes.
The document for many spacewalks and spacewalk time by any particular person is held by former Soviet and Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Solovyev. His 16 spacewalks between 1988 and 1998 totaled 82 hours and 22 minutes, all outdoors the Mir house station.
Crew Dragon Endeavour accomplished its fourth flight. It was first utilized in 2020 for SpaceX’s first crewed flight, the Demo-2 mission to the ISS. Following its return to Florida, the capsule is slated to be inspected and refurbished by SpaceX earlier than being ready for its subsequent mission.
SpaceX has 4 energetic Crew Dragon capsules, the opposite three are named Resilience, Endurance and Freedom, which have every flown two, three and two occasions with Endurance at the moment on the ISS with NASA’s seventh crew rotation mission — Crew-7.
A fifth Crew Dragon is at the moment being constructed. It’s anticipated to be completed someday subsequent 12 months earlier than being entered into service. SpaceX’s human-rated capsules are used for ISS crew rotation missions in addition to personal missions to the ISS and solo low Earth orbit missions.
Thus far, SpaceX has flown 11 crewed missions since Could of 2020, sending 42 folks into orbit.
As an fascinating comparability, through the first three years and three months of the house shuttle program, 11 missions had been flown, additionally sending 42 folks into house. Nonetheless, traditionally, because the house shuttle program progressed it flew extra usually and had the next seating capability.
Video courtesy of SciNews
Derek Richardson has a level in mass media, with an emphasis in up to date journalism, from Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. Whereas at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the coed run newspaper, the Washburn Evaluation. He additionally has an internet site about human spaceflight referred to as Orbital Velocity. You could find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.