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After 177 days in space, SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer returned to Earth aboard one of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Marshburn was part of a panel of Crew-3 members who just splashed out last week after their time on the International Space Station on a joint NASA and SpaceX mission. During the live conference, Marshburn said that while the NASA, SpaceX and Russian-made ships he’s flown in are all different, they also feel more or less the same during launch and during launch. re-entering the atmosphere due to simple physics.
“SpaceX was a little smoother [especially] by staging,” Marshburn said. “[Landing in] the shuttle was very smooth. We hardly knew we had landed. But distinct differences were pleasing to watch on launch and landing.
Marshburn also said back to school was a “ton of fun,” which probably makes him an astronaut. Just hearing him describe the long free fall after re-entry would make anyone else’s stomach turn.
Crew-3 has returned to Earth just as the missions to the Moon and Mars are really heating up. NASA’s Artemis program takes a Moon-to-Mars approach and will work alongside SpaceX for transport to the lunar surface. SpaceX is also planning its own crewed mission to Mars within – very optimistically – a decade.
Marshburn’s review is the perfect reminder of how far space exploration has come in his career, which isn’t even over yet. It’s kind of fun to imagine what it’s like to go through a rocket launch from the Marshburn side of the spacesuit.
And if all goes as planned, more Earth humans might find out for ourselves.
Learn more about the space: SpaceX Starship Spotted With What Looks Like A Janky Payload Door