SpaceX Crew 5 astronauts will leave the ISS tomorrow and go to Earth

Crew-5 will soon wrap up an eventful semester in space.

SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts will begin their return journey back to Earth after undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) at 5:05 pm EDT (22:05 GMT) on Thursday (March 9), NASA said in a statement given to reporters . (will open in a new tab) Today. The crew then splashes down at 21:25 EST (01:25 GMT the next day) on Friday (March 10).

“The universe started challenging us, and then it got really crazy,” NASA astronaut Josh Kassada said today (March 8) during a live in-orbit farewell, reflecting on Crew-5’s six-month mission. While aboard the Orbital Laboratory, two spacecraft docked to the ISS suffered a coolant leak (a Soyuz crew capsule and a Progress cargo spacecraft, both Russian), and the orbital complex had to dodge space debris several times. However, everything was fixed by the departure of Crew-5.

Kassada thanked the teams at Mission Control and around the world for helping the crew resolve these issues. “Without your support, we would not be able to start solving these problems,” he said.

Related: Auroras, spacecraft modifications and more: SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts reflect on their time in orbit

The SpaceX Crew-5 crew members are expected to land shortly. Clockwise from left are Expedition 68 Flight Engineers Anna Kikina of Roscosmos, Josh Kassada and Nicole Mann of NASA, and Koichi Wakata of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). (Image credit: NASA)

Crew-5 was launched on October 5, 2022, making its first few space flights. Nicole Mann of NASA, a member of the Round Valley Indian Tribes in northern California, was the first Native American woman in space. Cosmonaut Anna Kikina became the first Russian woman to fly on a SpaceX spacecraft, and Koichi Wakata launched a record-breaking fifth space flight for a single Japanese astronaut.

NASA’s Josh Kassada also made his mark on Crew-5, helping install the first emergency chair on the SpaceX Endeavor spacecraft when Expedition 68 crew member Frank Rubio was temporarily unable to return home due to a coolant leak on his Soyuz. (Rubio is now safely aboard a new Soyuz called MS-23 and will leave the ISS in September with two Russian colleagues.)

The cargo ship Progress also suffered a coolant leak last month; Both this and the Soyuz leak were unrelated events resulting from micrometeor impacts, according to the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Problem solving required flexibility. The Soyuz MS-23 launch date changed several times as Roscosmos investigated the delay, first pushing it back to March and then quickly pushing it back to February. 23 days after launch.

RELATED: SpaceX Crew-6 Astronauts Arrive at Space Station After an Hour Delay

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata during a spacewalk. February 2, 2022 during Expedition 68 serving the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

Crew-5 is currently conducting a transfer period following the arrival of Crew-6, which arrived at the orbital facility on Friday (March 3) with four crew members on its own SpaceX spacecraft called Endeavor. The six-month Crew-5 mission included more than 200 experiments and six spacewalks, although some of the excursions involved other members of Expedition 68 who arrived aboard other spacecraft.

First cosmonaut Kikina, speaking in English, said that her time in space flew by “like an instant” and that she would “remember it”. [mission] again like in a dream. She wished the future crews the same meaningful time in orbit, and also thanked the ground crews. “It’s so nice to feel alive in this way, and I want to say a big, big thank you. “

Wakata, who spent about a year in space in his five missions, called the mission’s ending “bittersweet,” adding, “It was a pleasure to work with you and I feel very lucky to be able to work with this wonderful team.”

Mann, commander of Crew-5, paid tribute to her crew and support teams: “Every time we had a problem, we had a solution among the crew or among the people on the ground. We supported each other.”

Elizabeth Howell is co-author of Why Am I Taller? (will open in a new tab)? (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), space medicine book. Follow her on Twitter @howellspace. (will open in a new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (will open in a new tab) or facebook (will open in a new tab).

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