After spending nearly 200 days in space, three NASA astronauts came back to Earth on Tuesday. Video clips of the SpaceX Crew-2 return mission featured an undocking sequence, a flyaround maneuver throughout the ISS, and a flyby on the east coast of Japan while witnessing the sunset.
According to Space, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Tomas Pesquet left the ISS (International Space Station) on Monday afternoon. The SpaceX Crew-2, comprised of the previously mentioned astronauts, boarded the Crew Dragon capsule "Endeavour" to fly back to Earth.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Undocking Video Clip
Various news outlets recorded and posted video clips for the exciting space mission. Some of the best videos were found on NASA's Twitter page.
NASA tweeted an update "undocking confirmed!" This post featured an amazing video of the capsule slowly separating from the ISS dock. In the last three seconds of the video, viewers got a peek of Crew Dragon's internal operations.
NASA also tweeted a 54-second video of the SpaceX Crew-2 saying goodbye to their coleagues. Keep in mind this exchange was done as the crew prepared for their flyaround on the ISS.
This is what teamwork sounds like.— NASA (@NASA) November 8, 2021
As @SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour begins its flyaround of the @Space_Station, @Astro_Sabot shares words of farewell for his departing Crew-2 colleagues: pic.twitter.com/nBEAA6aRVa
SpaceX Crew Dragon and ISS Flyaround
For reference, a flyaround is a maneuver to circle around the space station. Astronauts used this opportunity to take photos of the space station's exterior from all angles, which will be given to researchers to inspect the aging spacecraft. The images will also be used to search for areas that need maintenance or attention.
YouTube channel Cney Highlights posted a nine-minute video of the flyaround. The video also contained some of the photos taken by the astronauts. According to the commentary, the Crew Dragon used both high and standard definition view cameras. Some of the cameras were manually controlled by the ground team.
SpaceX Crew Dragon Sees Sunrise on Space
One other exciting scenes recorded was the SpaceX Crew Dragon flying over a sunset on the east coast of Japan. Keep in mind that this scene happened after the team finished their flyaround on the ISS and started their descent for Earth. On this video clip tweeted by NASA, the scene beautifully transitions color at the 0:15 and 0:20 time markers. The post has a description "sunrise in space."
After these three phases, SpaceX Crew-2 splashed down off the coast of Florida early Tuesday morning. All astronauts were safely retrieved by the ground team.
According to Space, these returning astronauts will soon be replaced by the Crew-3 Mission, composed of NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. They are scheduled to fly sometime Thursday this week.