SpaceX Dragon Capsule Splashes Down Safely After 6 Months in Orbit, But the Mission Got Off to a Harrowing Start

The company plans to launch its next manned flight to the ISS in September of 2022.

learn more about Amanda Breen

By Amanda Breen

SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endurance splashed down off the coast of Tampa early this morning, per NASA, bringing crew members safely back to Earth after almost six months in orbit following a mission to the International Space Station that got off to a terrifying start last fall.

On November 11, 2021, Endurance launched from the Kennedy Space Center with Crew-3 aboard, SpaceX's third operational Commercial Crew mission to the ISS, which included astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, Tom Marshburn and Matthias Maurer. They arrived at the station with over 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, 150 pounds of which consisted of research experiments to be conducted in the orbital labratory.

Related: Bezos Slams Musk and SpaceX With Infographic, Musk Gets Final Word With Not-So-Subtle Tweet

Just a few days later, on November 15, debris generated by a destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test passed dangerously close to the ISS, forcing crew members to seek shelter aboard their spacecrafts. "I'm outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action," NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement at the time. "With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts."

Fortunately, the Endurance's splash down went off without a hitch this morning, only a few days after SpaceX's Dragon Freedom, which carried its Crew-4, arrived at the space station, making a direct handover possible.

Related: Elon Musk Reveals What Caused a SpaceX Prototype to Mysteriously Explode

NASA documented the Endurance's mesmerizing return on its Twitter account.

And posted some celebratory photos of the crew's disembarkation.

SpaceX plans to launch its next manned flight to the ISS in September of 2022.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and recently completed the MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts during the 2020-2021 academic year. 

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game

How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.

Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.

Business News

The 'Airbnbust' Proves the Wild West Days of Online Vacation Rentals Are Over

Airbnb recently reported that 2022 was its first profitable year ever. But the deluge of new listings foreshadowed an inevitable correction.

Growing a Business

3 Simple Ways to Build Social Commerce for Your Business

Explore three easy ways to build an engaged online community for your business and increase your revenue in the process.


How This Entrepreneur Went Global Without VC Funding

The founder of Luminary shares why she wanted to control her own destiny and her advice for women who want to build their own sustainable and profitable business.

Employee Experience & Recruiting

Employee Search: How to Hire the Right Fit for Your Business

To simplify and enhance the hiring process, follow these strategies for conducting an effective employee search.