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Raja Chari, 3 others Indian-American astronauts return to earth on SpaceX Dragon. Watch vedio

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

SpaceX spacecraft ‘Dragon’ made a touchdown on the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida on Friday after spending six months on the International Space Station (ISS).

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk and SpaceX on Friday shared a video on Twitter which shows two sets of parachutes swelling open above the spacecraft in the final stage of descent slowing its fall as the craft hit the water off the coast of Tampa. “Splashdown of Dragon confirmed – welcome back to Earth, @Astro_Raja, @astroMarshburn, @astro_matthias, and @astro_kayla,” SpaceX tweeted.

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The spacecraft carried four astronauts including Indian-American astronaut Raja Chari. Raja Chari was accompanied by three other astronauts from the US and Europe, who returned after a 23.5-hours-long journey from the International Space Station.

Riding aboard the Dragon capsule were Crew-3 commander Raja Chari, pilot Thomas Marshburn and mission specialist Kayla Barron of NASA, and mission specialist Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency.

SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Inc, who recently clinched a deal to buy Twitter. California-based SpaceX has launched seven human spaceflights in all over the past two years – five for NASA and two for private ventures – as well as dozens of cargo and satellite payload missions since 2012, according to reports.

Ahead of his homecoming, Indian-origin astronaut Raja Chari said he was “handing over Space Station duties to NASA astronauts from Crew 4″. Crew 3’s return comes about a week after SpaceX launched Crew 4, including four more astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA on Wednesday.

“Glad to be back, thanks for letting us take care of Endurance. It was a great ride and looking forward to many more rides of the Endurance craft,” astronaut Raja Chari said after a splashdown. The spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere after conducting a series of thruster burns to align the heat shield with re-entry.

In another post shared by NASA, all four astronauts were seen coming out of the capsule, waving and giving thumbs-up as they were hustled away on rolling chaises for medical checks.

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