Astronauts on NASA’s Crew-3 mission returned to Earth Friday after six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft with NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari and Tom Marshburne, as well as Esa astronaut Matthias Maurer, separated from the space lab the day before returning home.
Their 23.5-hour return flight ended with their landing in the sea off the coast of Florida at 12:43 local time.
On behalf of the entire SpaceX team, welcome home, a company spokesperson told the crew after the spaceship’s capsule hit water.
Back on the International Space Station, two Italian astronauts and three American astronauts were on the Crew-4 mission, as well as three Russian cosmonauts. Before leaving, Marchborn handed over command of the station to Russian Oleg Artemyev.
Crew-3 has conducted hundreds of science experiments while on the International Space Station, including growing chili peppers in space to ensure they know how to grow crops on longer missions, exploring how concrete hardens in space, and observing Earth.