A stunning image shared by NASA shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS) just days before bringing the Crew-3 astronauts home.
The Endurance crew ship is shown from a window aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule, which brought NASA’s first-ever fee-paying astronauts to the ISS earlier this month as part of the Ax-1 mission organized by the Texas company Axiom Space.
NASA and SpaceX are gearing up for a busy few days at the space station.
The Crew-3 astronauts – Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, along with the European Space Agency’s Matthias Maurer – will return to Earth later this month.
But before that, Saturday, Crew-3 will see paying NASA visitors who arrived at the ISS on April 9. The Ax-1 mission was originally scheduled to last 10 days but was extended by five days after poor conditions at the landing site off the coast of Florida forced NASA to delay the start.
Crew-3 will also welcome astronauts from Crew-4, who are expected to arrive at the ISS in the middle of next week.
Chari, Marshburn, Barron and Maurer recently discussed highlights of their six-month stay aboard the orbiting outpost during a special Q&A session with reporters on Earth.
During their time in space, the four astronauts participated in hundreds of experiments and technology demonstrations and also participated in spacewalks involving maintenance and upgrades.
NASA’s busy programming period at the ISS was made possible by SpaceX’s successful development of its reusable space transportation hardware that flew astronauts for the first time on a successful test flight at the ISS. summer 2020.