The astronaut crew has returned home after five months on the International Space Station

(CNN) Who are the four astronauts? The Crew-5 crew aboard the International Space Station began their journey home on Saturday morning, marking five months in space.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule lifted off from the space station at 2:20 a.m. ET, beginning the final leg of the astronauts’ journey. The spacecraft is designed to splash down Around Florida 9:02 pm and Saturday.

Rescue ships await the arrival of the crew, pulling the capsule from the ocean and preparing for the crew to disembark, giving the astronauts their first breath of fresh air in nearly 160 days. Shortly thereafter, the crew will depart for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The four crew members, NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Kasada, JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata or Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Russian space agency Roscosmos astronaut Anna Kikhina, were launched to the space station last October by the SpaceX Crew Dragon. . Over the past few months, they have been conducting research experiments in the upkeep and maintenance of the two-decade-old orbital laboratory.

And all four have been giving up for the past few days Activities Crew-6 is a team of astronauts It arrived at the space station that day March 3.

Meet the crew

Mann became an enrolled member of the Wailaki Tribe of the Round Valley Reservation First Native American woman to travel Around the circular path. Like other astronauts, she put in the time In his journey to public expression, some focused on promoting tribalism Children. when An outreach event In November 2022, the deer is a A dream catcher — a traditional Native American totem to ward off bad dreams — she took with her to the space station.

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“I’m very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage,” Mann told reporters before kicking off. “I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and realize how important it is when we collaborate and unite, and we can achieve incredible things.”

Kikina’s participation in the flight came as part of a ride-sharing deal NASA and Roscosmos In July 2022. As the war in Ukraine escalates, and despite geopolitical tensions between the United States and Russia, NASA has repeatedly said its partnership with Roscosmos is vital to continuing operations of the space station and the valuable scientific research carried out on board.

The mission marked the first spacewalk for Mann, Kasada, and Kikina.

Wagada previously flew on NASA’s space shuttle flights and Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft. The trip was the fifth space mission by a Japanese astronaut.

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