Skip to main content

Check out this cool NASA image of SpaceX Crew-3’s ride home

A stunning image shared by NASA shows the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft at the International Space Station (ISS) just a few days before it brings home the Crew-3 astronauts.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft docked at the ISS.
Crew Dragon Endurance docked at the International Space Station about 250 miles above Earth. NASA

The Endurance crew ship is shown from a window aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule, which brought NASA’s first-ever paying astronauts to the ISS earlier this month as part of the Ax-1 mission organized by Texas-based 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 Matthias Maurer from the European Space Agency — will return to Earth later this month.

But before that, on Saturday, Crew-3 will see off NASA’s fee-paying visitors who arrived at the ISS on April 9. The Ax-1 mission was originally supposed to last 10 days but has been extended by five days after poor conditions at the splashdown site off the coast of Florida forced NASA to delay the departure.

Crew-3 will also welcome the Crew-4 astronauts, who are expected to arrive at the ISS in the middle of next week.

Chari, Marshburn, Barron, and Maurer recently talked about the highlights of their six-month stay aboard the orbiting outpost in a special Q&A session with reporters on Earth.

During their time in space, the four astronauts had a hand in hundreds of experiments and technology demonstrations and also participated in spacewalks involving maintenance and upgrade work.

NASA’s busy scheduling period at the ISS has been made possible by SpaceX’s successful development of its reusable space transportation hardware that first flew astronauts in a successful test flight in the summer of 2020.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Will SpaceX’s failed Starship flight impact NASA’s moon plan?
Artist concept of the SpaceX Starship on the surface of the Moon.

SpaceX’s Starship vehicle suffered what the spaceflight company called a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” on Thursday. In other words, it blew up.

The good news is that the uncrewed rocket cleared the pad and flew for around four minutes before meeting its fiery end. It means the SpaceX team will have plenty of valuable data on the rocket's flight performance, enabling it to refine the rocket’s systems to give it an improved chance of completing the second test flight and sending the Starship to orbit.

Read more
SpaceX Starship rocket launches in first test flight, but explodes in midair
spacex starship launch explosion

SpaceX has launched its integrated Starship for the first time, with the spacecraft and rocket leaving the launchpad on a test flight. However, not everything went smoothly during the test, as the rocket exploded before the separation of the Starship spacecraft from the Super Heavy rocket booster.

The launch from SpaceX's Starbase facility at Boca Chica in Texas saw the Starship leave the launch pad at 9:33 a.m. ET, consisting of the integrated Starship spacecraft and the Super Heavy Booster, which form the world's most powerful rocket. The combined Starship will be used for future missions to the moon and beyond, launched from a launch-and-catch tower standing at an impressive height of nearly 500 feet tall.

Read more
How to watch SpaceX launch record-breaking Starship rocket on Thursday
The Starship, comprising the first-stage Super Heavy and the upper-stage Starship spacecraft, on the launchpad at SpaceX's facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

Starship Flight Test

Update: SpaceX called off Monday's launch attempt due to a technical issue. It's now targeting Thursday, April 20. Full details below. 

Read more