On 5 May 2022 at 0320 GMT, the NASA Crew 3 (Endurance) mission astronauts closed the hatch between their Crew Dragon craft and the International Space Station (ISS). Undocking was autonomous from the forward port of the ISS’s Harmony module at 0520 GMT. Commander Raja Chari, pilots Thomas Marshburn and Matthias Maurer (ESA) and mission specialist Kayla Barron were part of Expedition 66 and 67 during their mission. Departure was originally scheduled for 4 May however it was delayed to allow forecasters more time to review weather around the Florida coast.
Within days of their arrival at the ISS on 11 November 2021, the crew were instructed to follow protocol and return to the ‘safe haven’ of Endurance following a warning being issued by ground control from both Russia and the US regarding a cloud of space debris that the ISS was expected to pass through on 15 November. After a few hours the crew returned to their duties on the ISS.
During their mission of nearly six months, the crew completed three EVA’s to both repair and upgrade the ISS. On one spacewalk, Maurer’s visor became coated with a thin layer of water and an absorption pad within the helmet also became damp. It was reported that the astronaut was never in any danger.
Splashdown of Crew 3 Endurance is expected at 0443 GMT on 6 May off the coast of Florida.
Update on 6 May: Splashdown of Endurance occurred at 0443 GMT on 6 May 2022 in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida as planned. The astronaut’s mission had ended after over 176 days in space. Fast boats attended to Endurance and its crew before it was hoisted aboard the main deck of the recovery ship, Shannon.