You are here: Home » International » News » Others
Business Standard

SpaceX brings 4 astronauts home with midnight splashdown

The three U.S. astronauts and one German in the capsule were bobbing off the Florida coast, near Tampa, less than 24 hours after leaving the International Space Station

Topics
International Space Station | NASA | SpaceX

AP  |  Miami 

spacex, moon
SpaceX. Photo: Reuters

brought four astronauts home with a midnight splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, capping the busiest month yet for Elon Musk's taxi service.

The three U.S. astronauts and one German in the capsule were bobbing off the Florida coast, near Tampa, less than 24 hours after leaving the Space Station. expected to have them back in Houston later in the morning.

NASA's Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, and the European Space Agency's Matthias Maurer, embraced the seven astronauts remaining at the station, before parting ways.

It's the end of a six-month mission, but I think the space dream lives on, Maurer said.

brought up their U.S. and Italian replacements last week, after completing a charter trip to the station for a trio of businessmen.

That amounts to two crew launches and two splashdowns in barely a month.

Musk's company has now launched 26 people into orbit in less than two years, since it started ferrying astronauts for . Eight of those 26 were space tourists.

The newly returned astronauts said their mission was highlighted by the three visitors and their ex-astronaut escort who dropped by in April, opening up NASA's side of the station to paying guests after decades of resistance.

On the down side, they had to contend with a dangerous spike in space junk after Russia blew up a satellite in a missile test in mid-November.

More than 1,500 pieces of shrapnel spread across Earth's orbit for years to come.

While the war in Ukraine has caused tensions between the U.S. and Russia, the astronauts have stood by their Russian crewmates, and vice versa.

Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow also continued to cooperate as always, according to officials.

As he relinquished command of the space station earlier this week, Marshburn called it a place of peace and said cooperation would likely be its lasting legacy.

Russian Oleg Artemyev, the new commander, also emphasised the peace between our countries, our friendship in orbit and described his crewmates as brothers and sisters.

Up there now are three Russians, three Americans and one Italian.

It was Marshburn's third spaceflight, and the first for the three returning with him.

Chari and Barron's next stop could be the moon; they are among 18 U.S. astronauts picked for NASA's Artemis moon-landing programme. Two in that elite group are now at the space station.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, May 06 2022. 11:32 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU