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NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Astronauts Splash Down Off Florida Coast After Months Aboard Space Station



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Four astronauts returned to Earth early Monday, splashing down off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla., after 184 days aboard the International Space Station, NASA said.
NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev splashed down at 12:17 a.m. in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft after completing NASA’s sixth commercial crew rotation on the ISS.
It was the first spaceflight for all but Bowen, who has logged 227 days in space over four flights, according to NASA.
“After spending six months aboard the International Space Station, logging nearly 79 million miles during their mission, and completing hundreds of scientific experiments for the benefit of all humanity, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 has returned home to planet Earth,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.
“This international crew represented three nations, but together they demonstrated humanity’s shared ambition to reach new cosmic shores. The contributions of Crew-6 will help prepare NASA to return to the Moon under Artemis, continue onward to Mars, and improve life here on Earth.”
Crew-6 performed numerous science and maintenance activities and technology demonstrations during their 2,976 trips around the Earth aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Bowen conducted three spacewalks, joined by Hoburg for two and Alneyadi for one, preparing the station for and installing two new ISS Roll-Out Solar Arrays, or IROSAs, to augment power generation.
Crew-6 also studied plant genetic adaptations in space, assisted a student robotics challenge, and participated in ongoing human health monitoring.
It was the fourth flight for the Dragon spacecraft that brought Crew-6 home, which was named Endeavour by retired NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley. The spacecraft will be inspected and refurbished at a SpaceX facility at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to prepare for its next flight.
Crew-7 docked at the ISS on Aug. 27, with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.
NASA’s Commercial Crew program is tasked with identifying private-sector partners to provide “safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station and low Earth orbit,” following the retirement of the Space Shuttle more than a decade ago. The U.S. space agency has contracted with SpaceX and Boeing for its human crew transportation.
TMX contributed to this article.