A team of astronauts who were dispatched to the International Space Station as part of the NASA SpaceX project have safely returned to Earth after completing a five-month scientific mission. According to reports from Reuters and other news outlets, the crew of four individuals, including Japan’s Wakata Koichi, Russia’s Anna Kikina, NASA’s Nicole Mann, and Joshua Cassada, landed on the coast of Florida in the United States on March 11th amid stormy weather conditions.
Wakata, who was on his fifth space mission, was accompanied by Kikina and Mann, who were on their first mission. Mann, in particular, made history as the first female African-American astronaut.
During their mission, the crew conducted various experiments aimed at gathering information on how liquids behave in zero gravity. They utilized materials such as vehicle lubricants to conduct these experiments. Additionally, the team carried out tests to determine how various materials burn in zero gravity, in case of a fire on a new space station that will be used for exploring the moon and Mars. They also explored ways of purifying urine to create drinking water.
The SpaceX capsule carrying the crew successfully re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere on the evening of March 11th, Eastern Time. However, the capsule’s exterior temperature reportedly soared to 1,930 degrees Celsius due to friction heat during the re-entry process.
Overall, the safe return of the crew marks another successful milestone for the NASA SpaceX project, which aims to expand the horizons of space exploration and gather valuable scientific data.