Nasa’s Crew-3 astronauts set to return to Earth this week

After half a year in space, Crew-3 will return home on Thursday

Jon Kelvey
Monday 02 May 2022 20:50
Comments
<p>The members of Nasa’s Crew-3 mission — Esa astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Nasa astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron — before leaving Earth in 2021. </p>

The members of Nasa’s Crew-3 mission — Esa astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Nasa astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron — before leaving Earth in 2021.

Leer en Español

While Nasa’s Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station finally got off the ground on 27 April after several delays, their predecessors from the Crew-3 mission now have a date for their return to Earth.

In a post to Twitter on Monday morning, Nasa’s head of human spaceflight Kathy Lueders said the space agency aims to have the Crew-3 astronauts undock from the ISS in their Crew Dragon spacecraft around pm EDT on Wednesday 4 May, with a splashdown off the Florida coast to follow on 5 May.

That schedule assumes the weather holds, however. The Crew-4 launch was delayed because the crew of Axiom-1, the first all-private mission to the ISS, were unable to return from the space station as scheduled due to rough weather off the Florida coast.

Crew-3 — Nasa astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, as well as European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer — have been on the ISS since November. With the arrival of fellow ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti as part of Crew-4, ESA now has two astronauts aboard the ISS for the first time since 2011.

Crew-3 and Crew-4 are the third and fourth missions of Nasa’s Commercial Crew program, which contracts with private space launch companies to ferry astronauts to and from the space station. All four missions so far have flown in SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft launched by SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.

But if a crucial orbital test flight on 19 May goes well, future crew missions might also fly in the Boeing Starliner spacecraft.

The four members of the Crew-4 mission, Nasa astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, along with Cristoforetti, will spend roughly six months aboard the ISS, returning to Earth sometime in the fall of 2022.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in