After several weeks in space conducting experiments on the International Space Station, Commander Michael López-Alegría, mission specialist Alper Gezeravcı, mission specialist Marcus Wandt, and pilot Walter Villadei returned home safely today after undocking on Wednesday. The four astronauts left around 9:20 a.m. EST, and the deorbit burn began around 7:40 a.m. The four main parachutes on the Dragon capsule deployed just before 8:30 a.m. Splashdown occurred shortly after, near Daytona Beach, Florida on the Atlantic side of the state. A video of the successful return to Earth was shared by SpaceX, confirming the splashdown and welcoming back the astronauts.
A mission description from Axiom Space stated that the data collected on ground and in flight will impact understanding of human physiology on Earth and in orbit, advance scientific understanding, harness opportunities for industrial advancements, and develop technologies for humanity’s progress. As the capsule neared splashdown, SpaceX Mission Control thanked the Ax-3 team for flying with SpaceX, to which Commander Michael López-Alegría responded, “Flying SpaceX was our pleasure.”