After nearly three months in space, on the International Space Station (ISS), three American and German astronauts returned to Earth in the early hours of Friday (6) – Brazil time. A SpaceX Dragon capsule, in service with NASA, has landed safely off the coast of Tampa, Florida. The team has conducted orbital research ranging from space-grown peppers to robotics.
Americans Kayla Baron, 34, Raja Chari, 44, Tom Marshburn, 61, and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, 52, spent nearly 24 hours aboard the spacecraft until they landed at about 1:40 a.m. Brasilia .
The capsule was rescued by a ship.
The crew aboard the International Space Station a week ago was replaced by four other astronauts: three Americans and one Italian. Three Russian cosmonauts are still at the station.
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is floating off the coast of Tampa, Florida – Image: NASA TV / via AFP Image
ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer rescued shortly after the Dragon capsule touchdown – Image: NASA TV/via AFP Image
The astronauts who returned on Friday conducted several science experiments. They studied, for example, how cement hardens in the absence of gravity, something that could be very useful for future construction, including on the moon. They also made the second batch of peppers on board the station.
The sinking of the spacecraft in Earth’s atmosphere generated frictional heat, raising the temperature around its hull to 1,930 degrees Celsius.
Two sets of parachutes opened over the capsule in the final stage of the descent, slowing its descent to about 24 km/h before it hit the water.
Two sets of parachutes were opened over the capsule in the final stage of the descent. Photo: NASA TV/AFP Image via AFP
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