NEW YORK, May 31. /TASS/. US SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with a four-member team of Axiom 2 private astronaut mission safely returned to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS), Axiom Space reported in a live broadcast on its website.
At about 11:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 30, the spaceship entered the dense layers of the Earth’s atmosphere and a couple of minutes later released its basic parachutes at an altitude of about 5.5 km above Earth. At 11:04 p.m. EDT (6:04 a.m. Moscow time on May 31), the live broadcast speaker announced that the Crew Dragon capsule safely splashed down off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.
The four-member multinational astronaut crew undocked from the orbital outpost at 11:05 a.m. EDT on May 30, spending about 12 hours to return to Earth.
"The crew’s return officially concludes the second all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station." Axiom Space said on its website.
The Dragon spacecraft blasted off atop a Falcon 9 launch vehicle from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral (Florida) on May 21 and docked to the ISS the following day.
The Ax-2 crew was commanded by retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson who has flown to the orbital outpost three times and holds the NASA record of 665 days for the cumulative time of stay in orbit. The team also included entrepreneur John Shoffner and Saudi astronauts Ali al-Qarni and Rayyanah Barnawi.