Crew 6 Astronauts Bid Farewell to ISS, Prepare for Earth Return After Six-Month Mission
Crew 6 Astronauts are headed back to Earth (Photo: NASA)
Crew 6 Astronauts’ SpaceX Dragon Capsule Returns to Earth After Six-Month Mission
According to the Space article, the SpaceX Dragon capsule, carrying four Crew 6 astronauts, is currently en route to Earth, signifying the conclusion of their extensive six-month space mission. After facing a one-day delay due to unfavorable weather conditions at the designated splashdown site, the Dragon spacecraft, known as Endeavour, effectively disconnected from the International Space Station (ISS) at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT). This separation took place during the nighttime phase of Earth’s orbit, with the ISS positioned 256 miles above the Pacific Ocean.
The eagerly awaited splashdown of the SpaceX Dragon, carrying the four Crew 6 astronauts, is slated to take place off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at 12:17 a.m. EDT (0417 GMT) on Monday, as confirmed by NASA officials. To witness this momentous return of the Crew 6 astronauts, you can tune in to live coverage provided by Space.com, commencing at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on Monday).
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Crew 6 Astronauts Reflect on Their Six-Month Space Journey as Return to Earth Nears Despite 24-Hour Delay
According to the Ground News article, as they said their farewells to the space station, Crew-6 Commander NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen expressed his appreciation and recognized the privilege of being part of this mission. Bowen, alongside Crew-6 pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Sultan Al Neyadi from the United Arab Emirates, and Andrey Fedyaev from Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, will have spent almost six months in orbit since Endeavour’s initial docking with the ISS on March 3.
Despite the initial plan to bring back the Crew 6 astronauts on Saturday, a 24-hour delay was announced on Friday, September 1, due to concerns related to adverse weather conditions. After a comprehensive weather briefing on Saturday, mission managers decided to proceed with the undocking and splashdown, contingent upon favorable weather conditions. NASA officials estimated that it would take approximately 17 hours for the Crew 6 astronauts to conclude their journey back to Earth.