Public access radio that connects community members to one another and the world
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KDNK will broadcast Carbondale Mountain Fair live from Sopris Park July 26th-28th at kdnk.org

Splashdown! NASA's Crew-6 returns after 6 months at the International Space Station

In this image from video made available by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, slowed by parachutes, splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, as it returns to Earth with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.
NASA via AP
In this image from video made available by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon, slowed by parachutes, splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, as it returns to Earth with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.

Three astronauts and one cosmonaut have returned to earth, successfully completing a six-month stint in space.

NASA's Crew-6 mission began last March with a fiery nighttime launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It ended Monday, after nearly 3,000 orbits of the earth and 79 million miles traveled, just after midnight ET on Labor Day.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour pierced the atmosphere at 17,000 mph, its heat shield enduring temperatures hotter than 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Over the course of an hour, the capsule eventually slowed to a leisurely 15 mph under a canopy of parachutes with a gentle touchdown in the Atlantic Ocean off Jacksonville, Fla.

The splashdown capped a mission that spent a half-year on the International Space Station. Two NASA astronauts - mission commander Stephen Bowen and pilot Woody Hoburg - along with United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev - also served as flight engineers aboard the I.S.S.

They conducted more than 200 science experiments. Those included research on human health such as how monoclonal antibodies behave in microgravity. They also investigated how wave turbulence in space affects fuel in satellites.

In addition to the science experiments, Bowen, Hoburg and AlNeyadi conducted several spacewalks. They upgraded the space station's power systems and installed new solar arrays on the orbital outpost which has been continually inhabited since 2000.

The Crew-6 mission was relieved by the four members of Crew-7 which launched and arrived at the I.S.S. in late August. They'll also spend six months aboard the space station with an expected return in February 2024.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The four members of Crew-6 aboard the International Space Station pose for a portrait in their pressure suits. Clockwise from bottom, are NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen; United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi; NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg; and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
/ Credit: NASA
/
Credit: NASA
The four members of Crew-6 aboard the International Space Station pose for a portrait in their pressure suits. Clockwise from bottom, are NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen; United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi; NASA astronaut Woody Hoburg; and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.

Tags
As NPR's Southern Bureau chief, Russell Lewis covers issues and people of the Southeast for NPR — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. His work brings context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, transportation, and oil and gas drilling for NPR listeners across the nation and around the world.