Four astronauts have landed safely on Earth after a six-month NASA science mission to the international space station ISS. The crew landed aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule “Endeavor” after their scheduled eight-hour return voyage Monday evening at 10:30 p.m. EST (3:30 p.m. GMT Tuesday) in the ocean off the coast of the United States, as a NASA reported. livestream showed.
On board the autonomously functioning spacecraft were two NASA astronauts, Commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur, as well as Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and his colleague Thomas Pesquet, a French engineer with the European Space Agency. . It was the third crew to be put into orbit as part of NASA’s public-private partnership with SpaceX, the space company founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in 2002.
The four of them had previously undocked from the ISS without a functioning toilet aboard their “Crew Dragon”. Thus, the four astronauts who had been on the ISS since April had to wear some sort of diaper on their return flight. It was “sub-optimal,” McArthur had said in advance at a press conference. “But there are a lot of small challenges in space travel and we are ready to master them.”
Originally, the undocking of “Crew-2” was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed to Monday at short notice due to bad weather conditions. With the landing of “Crew-2”, the German astronaut Matthias Maurer with his “Crew-3” could leave for the ISS on Thursday morning (CET) at the earliest.
The departure of the 51-year-old Sarrlander was actually scheduled for the last weekend of October, but has already been postponed several times – among other things due to bad weather and a “minor medical problem” from a limb. crew. The problem will likely be resolved by the start, he said from NASA, and the weather for the now scheduled date was initially pleasantly predicted.
For the first time in three years, a German astronaut is supposed to fly into space with Maurer. With his NASA colleagues Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, he will take off from the Cape Canaveral spaceport in Florida. These four astronauts will also be transported in a “Crew Dragon”. With the flight, Maurer would be the twelfth German in space.