Completing a fifth commercial mission to the International Space Station that could give insights about celestial phenomena, Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-5 returned to the Earth safely late Saturday evening as the spacecraft carrying four astronauts splashed down off the coast of Florida.
“Welcome home, Crew-5! This international crew has been conducting critical science experiments and technology demonstrations on the International Space Station that will help prepare us for future deep space missions and pave the way for our return to the Moon,” said Nasa.
How many miles astronauts travelled in space
Arriving last October, the four US-Russian-Japanese crew spent as many as 157 days in orbit. They traveled 66,577,531 miles during their mission and completed 2512 orbits around Earth.
Members of Crew-5 flight
The names of astronauts who made space odyssey are: astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada belong to Nasa; astronaut Koichi Wakata from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Led by Nasa’s Nicole Mann, the first native American woman to fly in space, the crews checked out of the space station early Saturday morning.
They returned to the Earth successfully in a parachute-assisted splashdown. Teams aboard SpaceX recovery vessels retrieved the spacecraft and spacefarers. After returning to shore, the crew will fly to Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
What they missing while staying in orbit
“We are happy to be home,” said Mann and added that she couldn’t wait to feel the wind on her face, smell fresh grass and enjoy some delicious Earth food, reported PTI. NASA astronaut Josh Cassada’s to-do list includes: getting a rescue dog for his family. “Please don’t tell our two cats,” he joked before departing the space station. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata craved sushi, while Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina yearned to drink hot tea “from a real cup, not from a plastic bag.”
What they did there
Throughout their mission, the Crew-5 team did lots of research work to contribute to science. During their time on station, the crew members also tested hydroponic and aeroponic techniques to grow plants without using soil. They released Uganda and Zimbabwe’s first satellites, studied how liquids move in a container in simulated lunar gravity to generate data to improve Moon rover designs, and tested an on-demand system to produce specific quantities of key nutrients from yogurt, kefir, and a yeast-based beverage, according to the statement of Nasa.
The astronauts grew dwarf tomatoes in efforts to address the need for a continuous fresh-food production capability in space and reinstalled the station’s bioprinting facility as a stepping stone in long-term plans to manufacture whole human organs in space, said Nasa.
Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission
On October 5, 2022, the Crew-5 mission lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About 17 hours later, Dragon docked to the Harmony module’s forward-facing port to start studies and research. The Crew-5 flight is part of Nasa’s commercial crew programme and its return to Earth follows on the heels of Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-6 launch, which docked to the station March 3, beginning another science expedition.