crew returned to Earth in a parachute-assisted splashdown in SpaceX’s Dragon off the coast of Tampa
(NASA) – Following a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, the four members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission are safely back on Earth and will answer questions in a news conference at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, March 15.
The event will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Watch online HERE.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, as well as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, will speak about their mission for the first time following their splashdown.
The crew returned to Earth in a parachute-assisted splashdown in SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, at 9:02 p.m. EST Saturday, March 11, off the coast of Tampa, Florida, and flew back to Houston shortly after.
The spacefarers traveled 66,577,531 statute miles during 2,512 orbits around the Earth and 157 days in orbit. It was the first spaceflight for Mann, Cassada, and Kikina, and the fifth for Wakata.
During their mission, Mann and Wakata both completed two spacewalks, lasting a cumulative 14 hours, 2 minutes. Cassada completed three spacewalks, earning him a career total of 21 hours, 24 minutes suited up outside of the station.
One of the main duties of Crew-5 was to perform scientific investigations and technology demonstrations. Inside the orbiting laboratory, the crew used nematodes, or roundworms, to examine how microgravity affects the nervous system in a study that may one day lead to better health for the aging population on Earth.
They also re-installed the upgraded BioFabrication Facility that previously printed human heart cells and part of a knee. In addition to using research to benefit life on Earth, their investigations also looked at ways to enhance future long-duration space missions, like different growing techniques for gardening in space.
Crew-5 spent a little more than a week with the newly arrived crew of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission that docked to the station March 3, handing over any ongoing tasks, and introducing three first-time explorers to the orbital outpost. Both missions are part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.