Splashdown! NASA SpaceX Crew-5 Safely Returns to Earth
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina splashed down safely in the SpaceX Dragon Endurance in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 9:02 p.m. EST on March 11, 2023, after 157 days in space.
Teams on the Shannon recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safe for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Dragon onto the main deck of Shannon with the astronauts inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to Tampa to board a plane for Houston.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:20 a.m. EST on March 11. Around 40 minutes before splashdown, it completed its deorbit burn as expected. Then, around four minutes before splashdown, the drogue parachutes deployed at approximately 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon was moving around 350 miles per hour. Less than a minute later, the main parachutes deployed at about 6,000 feet in altitude while the spacecraft was moving at approximately 119 miles per hour.