On May 6, a Crew Dragon spaceship arrived in the Gulf of Mexico, which brings 4 astronauts back to Earth after almost 6 months on the ISS (International Space Station). The Crew Dragon spaceship Endurance landed at 12:43 a.m. Eastern time after a normal reentry. Recovery personnel placed the spaceship onto a boat a 30 minutes later.
The capsule transporting NASA’s Kayla Barron, Thomas Marshburn, and Raja Chari, as well as Matthias Maurer of the ESA (European Space Agency), was undocked from the ISS roughly 24 hours ago. On that spacecraft, the four personnel arrived at the station in November.
“It’s wonderful to be back. Thank you for letting us take Endurance on a test drive “Chari, the commander of Crew-3, made a comment immediately after the splashdown. “It was an incredible journey.” Bill Gerstenmaier speaking at a post-splashdown briefing, who works at SpaceX as the vice president of the build and flight reliability, claimed that after docking on May 5, the Crew-3 astronauts witnessed a little piece of debris drift away from the spacecraft.
According to photos, the component looks to be a frangible nut which was holding a tension rod which was connecting the trunk of spacecraft to the Falcon 9 rocket during deployment. There was no danger to the ship or even the International Space Station from the debris.
He said that the nut was intended to be stuck in a hole in the trunk, however it slipped free. “This is not what we want to occur.” He said, “We’ll devise the most effective means of preventing this. We’ll look for something new.”
SpaceX has had a busy month in human spaceflight, culminating in the splashdown. The Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour was launched on the commercial Ax-1 flight on April 8 by Axiom Space. A day later, the spacecraft docked with the ISS, where its 4 private astronauts used 15 days until undocking on 24th April and splashing down off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida on 25th April.
Freedom, another Crew Dragon capsule, launched just under 39 hours after the splashdown on the Crew-4 flight to the ISS (International Space Station). It arrived at the station after a 16-hour mission, transporting NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins, Robert Hines, and Kjell Lindgren, as well as Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA astronaut. They are going to stay aboard the station till the Crew-5 program, which will deploy in the month of September on the same Endurance vehicle that brought the Crew-3, relieves them.
“It’s unprecedented for us,” Kathy Lueders, NASA assistant administrator for space operations, noted that the current speed of operations at the post-splashdown briefing. She claimed that the SpaceX and NASA teams were “evaluating” their crew sizes and the amount of work they were doing. “Now you just have to take one step at a time.”
“This is an amazing moment to be in space,” Gerstenmaier remarked, noting that SpaceX planned to launch Starlink satellites from the KSC (Kennedy Space Center) at 5:42 a.m. Eastern. “As a company, I trust we are well-positioned to support these numerous operations. Maybe we should all take a few days’ vacation “Lueders commented.