SpaceX's Crew-6 astronauts safely splash down in the Atlantic

The Crew-6 astronauts were carried back to Earth by the Crew Dragon capsule "Endeavour", which performed its fourth flight to the ISS.
Chris Young
SpaceX's Crew Dragon "Endeavour" just before the splash down.
SpaceX's Crew Dragon "Endeavour" just before the splash down.

SpaceX / X 

Four astronauts safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon "Endeavour" capsule at 12:17 am EDT (0417 GMT) today, September 4.

The astronauts flying on SpaceX's Crew-6 mission were made up of Stephen Bowen and Warren Hoburg of NASA, Sultan AlNeyadi of the United Arab Emirates, and Andrey Fedyaev of Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Crew-6 astronauts safely splash down in the Atlantic

The four astronauts splashed down off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, having spent six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS). They undocked from the ISS at 7:05 am EDT (1105 GMT).

The Crew-6 mission launched aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 2, and the astronauts docked with the ISS the following day. Aboard the orbital station, they served as Expedition 68 and Expedition 69 flight engineers.

During their stay, the Crew-6 astronauts performed three spacewalks, berthed a Cygnus cargo spacecraft, and performed maintenance aboard the orbital station, among other duties.

Before the return journey, during a press briefing from the ISS, Warren said, "It's certainly been the experience of a lifetime and a real honor to get to spend six incredibly short-feeling months living and working aboard this incredible orbiting outpost. I think we got a lot done."

AlNeyadi returns to Earth as the first Arab and Emirati to perform a long-duration expedition in space. He is the second UAE astronaut to fly to orbital space after Hazza AlMansoori flew to the ISS in 2019. The first Arab in space was Prince Sultan Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, who launched aboard a NASA space shuttle in 1985.

"We had a good outreach with many people around the world, so it was really amazing —especially for my region," AlNeyadi said during the press briefing. "I come from a place where human spaceflights were stopped for more than 30 years, and I felt that I was obligated to show what's happening with the station. I think it was a small boost towards spreading the enthusiasm in our region."

Crew Dragon Endeavour's fourth flight

After the splashdown, a crew aboard a recovery boat named "Megan" was on hand to retrieve the spacecraft and the crew from the waters of the Atlantic. The recovery boat is named after NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, one of the first women to fly on a SpaceX Dragon.

Crew-6 marked the fourth flight for the reusable Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule. Endeavour also flew SpaceX's first-ever human spaceflight, Demo-2, Crew-2, and the Axiom-1 space tourism mission.

SpaceX's Crew-7 astronauts launched to the ISS on August 26. It was the first commercial crew flight to fly astronauts from four space agencies: NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board