SpaceX's wildly busy year continues with astronaut splashdown

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Three NASA astronauts and a European astronaut splashed down aboard their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule off the coast of Florida after midnight Friday morning, capping off their six-month mission during which they worked alongside Russian cosmonauts and hosted the first all-private crew to visit the orbiting outpost.

The crew of this mission, called Crew-3, departed the ISS in the early hours of Thursday morning and spent more than 20 hours free flying through orbit aboard the 13-foot-wide capsule before it plunged back into the atmosphere and parachuted to its water landing. The four astronauts on the Crew-3 mission are NASA's Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, as well a German astronaut with the ESA, Matthias Maurer.

SpaceX's jam-packed schedule continues with another astronaut returnSpaceX has had a whirlwind month of activity. It kicked off with the launch of the private AX-1 mission to the ISS on April 8, and the company brought that crew home just last week. Then SpaceX launched the Crew-4 astronauts, who will replace the Crew-3 astronauts on the ISS staff, last Wednesday, then immediately began gearing up for Crew-3's return.

 

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