Indian American astronaut Raja Chari returns safely from 6-month ISS mission

iNDICA News Bureau-

Indian American astronaut Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida around midnight Thursday after completing his missions at the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the earth.

“Glad to be back,” he remarked. “Thanks for letting us take care of Endurance. It was a great ride and looking forward to many more rides of the Endurance craft.”

Chari had been in space for nearly six months, commanding NASA’s commercial Crew-3 mission along with NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and the European Space Agency’s Matthias Maurer.

The four had arrived at the ISS last Nov under the SpaceX Crew-3 mission. Billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX provided the launch vehicle for the mission.

Raja Chari and his team departed the ISS around 1am EDT May 5. SpaceX shared a video of the Endurance capsule undocking from the space station. The astronauts undertook a nearly 23.5 hour journey before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico.

After completing his first spacewalk recently, Raja Chari tweeted March 25: ‘Great spacewalks on @Space_Station that reminded me how important the human connection is between operators, trainers, and the ground team. Lucky to have @NASA_Johnson instructors that prepped us to deal with problems since no mission is ever perfect.’

Before leaving, Barron handed over charge of the ISS to Russian cosmonaut and flight engineer Oleg Artemyev who will lead Expedition 67 until late summer. There are now seven astronauts on the space station.

SpaceX launched mission Crew-4 April 27, which again comprises three NASA and one ESA astronaut.