SpaceX Crew-5 Successfully Splashes Down After 157-Day Mission

On March 11, 2023, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft carrying four Crew-5 members successfully splashed down off the coast of Tampa, Florida, at 9:02 p.m.[0] [1] The mission, which launched October 5, 2022, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, marked the eighth crewed orbital flight for SpaceX and the fifth operational NASA Commercial Crew Program flight.[2]

The four-person crew included NASA flight commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, 45, the first Native American woman sent into orbit, and cosmonaut Anna Kikina, 38, who became the first Russian to fly on an American spacecraft in 20 years.[3] The other two crew members were NASA pilot Josh Cassada, 49, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, who was on his fifth space mission.

The Crew-5 mission, which lasted 157 days, included more than 200 experiments and six spacewalks.[4] During their mission, the crewmates also witnessed a highly unusual event in December when a docked Soyuz spacecraft sprung a leak, putting the capsule out of action.[0] In response to the event, Russia dispatched a replacement vessel for the two Russian cosmonauts and single NASA astronaut who had boarded the now-impaired spacecraft to arrive at the ISS back in September.[0]

The mission marked the first trip to space for Mann, Cassada and Kikina.[5] Wakata had been an astronaut for 31 years, and this was his fifth spaceflight. A total of 505 days in space has been accumulated by him — the highest amount for a Japanese astronaut.[6]

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson welcomed the astronauts home, saying, “Each advancement these explorers make is not an achievement for one, but a giant leap for all of humanity.”[6]

At a height of roughly 6,500 feet, the primary parachutes of the capsule were released and filled with air, slowing the capsule to a slow speed of 16 mph for the last three and a half minutes of its journey.[7] The splashdown occurred precisely at 9:02 p.m.[8] [1]

The Crew-5 mission is now taking part in a handover period with the arrival of Crew-6, which arrived at the orbiting complex on Friday (March 3) with four crew members aboard its own SpaceX spacecraft, the Endeavour.[9]

0. “NASA targets today for Crew-5 astronauts’ journey home” Digital Trends, 9 Mar. 2023,

1. “Four NASA Crew-5 Astronauts, Cosmonauts Splashdown Safely” Aviation Week, 12 Mar. 2023,

2. “NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission astronauts begin return to Earth” The Indian Express, 11 Mar. 2023,

3. “Nasa's SpaceX Crew-5 splashdown: Four-person spacecraft return to Earth| Watch” Hindustan Times, 12 Mar. 2023,

4. “SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts hope to leave space station March 9 as NASA watches weather”, 8 Mar. 2023,

5. “Astronaut crew splashes down near Florida, ending 5-month stay in space” WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale, 12 Mar. 2023,

6. “‘One heck of a ride!’ Crew-5 astronauts, cosmonaut back on Earth” SpaceFlight Insider, 12 Mar. 2023,

7. “Crew Dragon splashes down to close out 157-day mission – Spaceflight Now” Spaceflight Now, 12 Mar. 2023,

8. “Crew Dragon astronauts undock from space station and head for home” CBS News, 11 Mar. 2023,

9. “Crew Dragon Endurance returns to Earth on Crew-5 mission –”, 12 Mar. 2023,

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