The Crew Dragon Freedom shuttle of the Ax-3 mission has left the International Space Station. The crew composed of Italian Air Force Colonel Walter Villadei and Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria, together with the Swede Marcus Wandt of the European Space Agency and the first Turkish astronaut Alper Gezeravci, is on its way back to Earth. The ditching off the coast of Florida is scheduled for February 9th, at 2.30 pm Italian time. Launching on January 19th from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral with a Space ).
The return phase
The restart of the mission was postponed several times in recent days due to bad weather and the stay therefore lasted longer than the 14 days initially planned. The final re-entry phase into the Earth’s atmosphere will last approximately 12 minutes: during this phase the Dragon will experience significant heating and resistance which will reduce its speed in order to safely open its parachutes. The first two will open at an altitude of almost 5.5 kilometers and will then be followed by four other main parachutes which will deploy just under 2 kilometers from the ground, allowing ditching at a speed of approximately 7.6 meters per second.