by Areej Fatima . Oct 18, 2022
At 12:05 p.m. EDT on Friday, astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA), Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, Jessica Watkins, and Crew-4 of the International Space Station (ISS) undocked from the Harmony module's port facing into space. Twice this week, their departure from the orbiting laboratory was postponed because of weather issues at the Florida splashdown location.
After undocking from SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom on Friday, Crew-4 safely splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean about five hours later. At 4:55 p.m. EDT, the spacecraft carried out a parachute-assisted splashdown.
NASA and SpaceX workers quickly arrived at the location onboard SpaceX's recovery ship, "Megan," and they retrieved the astronaut quartet's spacecraft from the ocean. After receiving medical attention, Crew-4 astronauts will be flown by private aircraft to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
The agency stated that the Dragon Freedom would return to Florida for inspection and processing at SpaceX's Dragon Lair, where teams will review the spacecraft's data and performance throughout the trip.
Crew-4, this worldwide group, has been working on scientific research for everyone's benefit for about six months. According to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, future explorers will benefit from their work on-board the orbiting laboratory.
Bill said: "Working and residing on the space station is a once-in-a-slifetime experience, but it also necessitates sacrifices from these explorers, particularly time spent away from loved ones. Thank you for your contributions to science, invention, and discovery during the past six months, Kjell, Bob, Jessica, and Samantha!"
Crew-4 Mission Specialist for SpaceX As the first woman of color to be sent on a lengthy mission to the Space Station, NASA Astronaut Jessica Watkins created history. According to Watkins, it is merely a tribute to the accomplishments of the Black women astronauts who came before her and the promising future ahead.
Only seven people of color have traveled to the space station out of the 248 astronauts who have done so. She said that being a part of that tradition as we advance is an honor. Watkins stated, "As a young person, it was vital to me to have role models in positions and contribute in ways that I aspired to."
Throughout their mission, the Crew-4 astronauts performed hundreds of science experiments at the Space Station, including investigations to determine whether fuel temperature affects the flammability of a material.
Other research included documenting how improvements to astronauts' diet affect immune function and the gut microbiome and "exploring possible adverse effects on astronaut hearing from equipment noise and microgravity," said NASA.
They added: "The astronauts also investigated microgravity-induced changes in the human immune system similar to aging, tested a novel water-reclamation membrane, and examined a concrete alternative made with a material found in lunar and Martian dust."
ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti completed a pair of spacewalks with Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev to perform maintenance outside the Station.
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