NASA SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts splash down as Crew-3 prepares for launch

The Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft delivered NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts safely into the Gulf of Mexico at approximately 10:33 PM EST (22:33) near Pensacola, Florida. This splashdown stands as an example of a safe, reliable, cost-effective bit of transportation as executed by NASA's Commercial Crew Program. NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 mission is expected to launch on or after November 10, 2021.

This mission was originally launched all the way back on April 23, 2021. Mission launch took place at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The launched craft Crew Dragon Endeavour was sent out of our atmosphere and docked with the ISS's Harmony module on April 24, 2021.

The crew of four included NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. This crew traveled approximately 84,653,119 statute miles over the course of their mission. They completed 3,194 orbits around our planet Earth, and stayed on the ISS 198 days, total.

On September 12, 2021, the crew made history as Hoshide and Pesquet conducted a space walk, the first space walk with the ISS that did not include either an American or Russion astronaut. Kimbrough, Hoshide, and Pesquet also completed several spacewalks to work with the ISS Roll-out Solar Arrays. These walks were to install, deploy, or otherwise prepare for the installation of said arrays.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson spoke after the successful landing of the Crew-2 mission. "We're happy to have Shane, Megan, Aki, and Thomas safely back on Earth after another successful, record-setting long-duration mission to the International Space Station," said Nelson. "NASA's Commercial Crew Program continues to demonstrate safe, reliable transportation to conduct important science and maintenance on the space station."

The SpaceX Crew Dragon will deliver SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station at approximately 9:03PM EST Wednesday, November 10, 2021. If launch occurs as expected, the Crew Dragon Endurance is expected to dock with the ISS at 7:10PM on November 11, 2021.

The Crew-3 astronaut crew includes NASA astronaut Raja Chari, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, NASA astronaut Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. Stick around as we cover the entirety of said launch and mission, too!