Four astronauts are returning to Earth with a predawn splashdown

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The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission returned to Earth early Tuesday morning (March 12), with their homecoming broadcast live.
Crew-7’s Dragon capsule, Endurance, splashed down at 5:50 a.m. EDT (0950 UTC) off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
The recovery crew arrived at the capsule around three minutes later, with thermal cameras tracking the recovery operations.
Related: SpaceX Crew-7 astronauts undock from ISS for return to EarthRecovery crews hook up the Dragon capsule to lift it from the sea off the coast of Pennsecola Florida (Image credit: NASA)The parachutes that had guided Endurance back to Earth were recovered with the recovery crew checking for both pyrotechnic residuals and poisonous materials.
After these safety checks, the Dragon capsule was lifted from the Gulf of Mexico onto a recovery ship at 6:13 a.m. EDT (1013 GMT) using a hydraulic lift.
A thermal screenshot showing the sucessfully deployed four parachuettes of the Dragon Capsule as it makes its descent on March 12 (Image credit: NASA)The Crew-7 astronauts exited the Endurance Dragon capsule at 6:36 a.m. EDT (1036 UTC), with Andy Mogensen assisted from the capsule first.
After 199 days in low-Earth orbit and their descent back to Earth, the crew will visit a medical facility to check their health.
Andy Mogensen exist the Crew-7 Dragon capsule first (Image credit: NASA)Endurance undocked from the International Space Station on Monday (March 11) after the astronauts’ 6.5-month stay on the orbiting laboratory to begin Crew-7’s journey home.
SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance spacecraft carrying the four Crew-7 astronauts approaches the International Space Station for docking on Aug. 27, 2023.
(Image credit: NASA)Crew-7 consists of NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Satoshi Furukawa and Konstantin Borisov, a cosmonaut with Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos.
The mission launched to the ISS atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Aug. 26, 2023 and arrived at the orbiting complex a day later.
The liftoff kicked off the first spaceflight for Moghbeli and Borisov and the second for Mogensen and Furukawa.
The Crew-7 quartet overlapped briefly with their successors, the four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-8 mission, which arrived at the ISS last Tuesday (March 5).
A thermal image showing the Crew 7 Dragon capsule floating ibn the sea off the coast of Pennsicola Florida on March 12 (Image credit: NASA)As those mission names suggest, SpaceX has now launched eight operational astronaut flights to the ISS for NASA (plus one crewed test flight to the orbiting lab).
The agency selected SpaceX for this job in September 2014.
Aerospace giant Boeing got a commercial crew contract back then as well, but has not yet flown an astronaut mission for NASA.
That should change soon, however: The first astronaut flight of Boeing’s Starliner capsule is scheduled to launch in early May.
That mission, called Crew Flight Test, will send two astronauts to the ISS for a roughly 10-day stay.

Live coverage of the four astronauts’ arrival was provided when they returned to Earth early on Tuesday, March 12, as part of SpaceX’s Crew-7 mission.

At 5:50 a.m., Crew-7’s Dragon capsule, Endurance, sank. M. EDT (0950 UTC) near Pensacola, Florida’s coast. After following the recovery operations with thermal cameras, the recovery crew reached the capsule in about three minutes.

See also: Astronauts from SpaceX Crew-7 undock to return to Earth from the International Space Station.

Above: NASA image of recovery workers hooking up the Dragon capsule to be lifted out of the water off the coast of Pennsecola, Florida.

The recovery crew retrieved the parachutes that had guided Endurance back to Earth and examined them for any potentially harmful materials or pyrotechnic residue. At 6:13 a.m., the Dragon capsule was raised from the Gulf of Mexico onto a recovery ship following these safety inspections. me. with the aid of a hydraulic lift at 1013 GMT EDT.

A thermal snapshot captured on March 12th, demonstrating the Dragon capsule’s four successfully deployed parachutes during its descent (Photo credit: NASA).

At 6:36 a.m., the members of Crew-7 stepped out of the Endurance Dragon capsule. M. First assisting from the capsule was Andy Mogensen at 10:36 UTC (EDT). Following their descent back to Earth and 199 days in low-Earth orbit, the crew will stop by a medical facility for a health check.

Andy Mogensen was the first to exist in the Crew-7 Dragon capsule (Image credit: NASA).

On March 11, the astronauts of Crew-7 started their journey home when Endurance undocked from the International Space Station following their six and a half-month stay in orbit.

On August 27, SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance spacecraft, which is carrying the four members of Crew-7, approaches the International Space Station in preparation for docking. April 27, 2023. (Image courtesy of NASA).

Captain Konstantin Borisov of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency’s Andreas Mogensen, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Satoshi Furukawa make up Crew 7.

On August 9, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the mission to the International Space Station. 26.2023 and reached the orbiting complex the following day. The first spaceflight for Moghbeli and Borisov and the second for Mogensen and Furukawa began with the liftoff.

The four astronauts of Crew-7 briefly shared space with the four astronauts of Crew-8, the SpaceX mission that arrived at the International Space Station last Tuesday, March 5.

A thermal photo taken on March 12th, depicting the Crew 7 Dragon capsule floating in the ocean off the coast of Pennsicola, Florida (Photo credit: NASA).

SpaceX has now launched eight operational astronaut flights to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA, as those mission names would imply (plus one crewed test flight to the orbiting lab). In September 2014, SpaceX was chosen by the agency for this position.

Although it had not yet flown an astronaut mission for NASA, aerospace behemoth Boeing had also been awarded a commercial crew contract at the time. That will soon change, though, as early May is when Boeing’s Starliner capsule is set to launch on its first astronaut flight.

In that mission, known as Crew Flight Test, two astronauts will spend about ten days aboard the International Space Station.

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