THIS WEEK @NASA: Crew-3 Mission Launches to the Space Station, Crew-2 Astronauts Safely Splash Down in Gulf of Mexico

By  //  November 14, 2021

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ABOVE VIDEO: Our Crew-3 mission launches to the space station, Crew-2 makes a splash at the end of its record-setting mission, and a big honor for our deputy administrator … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Crew-3 Mission Launches to the Space Station

On Nov. 10, NASA’s Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, along with European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer, launched from our Kennedy Space Center aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station.

They arrived the next day and were welcomed as the newest members of the station’s Expedition 66 crew. They are scheduled to spend about six months conducting science and other activities on the orbiting outpost.

Crew-2 Astronauts Safely Splash Down in Gulf of Mexico

“We expect Endeavour to push away from the space station …”—Commentator

On Nov. 8, our SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts, inside their SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft, undocked from the International Space Station to begin the trip back to Earth. Hours later, NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet made a safe parachute-assisted splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

“Applause …”

Crew-2 spent 199 days in orbit, a record for the longest spaceflight by a U.S. crewed spacecraft. Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew program at

Melroy’s Induction into U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame

Former NASA astronaut, and the agency’s current deputy administrator, Pam Melroy is one of the new inductees into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Melroy was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in December 1994. She is a veteran of three spaceflights, with more than 38 days in space, and is one of only two women to command a space shuttle. Former astronauts Mike Lopez-Alegria and Scott Kelly are the other inductees. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 13.

NASA Outlines Challenges, Progress for Artemis Moon Missions

In the first major Artemis update provided under the Biden-Harris Administration and following a legal ruling upholding NASA’s selection of SpaceX to develop a human lunar lander, NASA leadership reiterated its commitment to long-term exploration of the Moon under our Artemis program. The agency announced no later than May 2024 for the Artemis II mission around the Moon with crew and that we need additional time with SpaceX to discuss options for the next lunar landing, which is now no earlier than 2025. Read more about Artemis at

Groundlinks Connect Students with Long-Term Analog Missions

NASA “Groundlinks” give students an opportunity to ask questions of crew members living and working inside the Human Exploration Research Analog, or HERA habitat here on Earth. Groundlinks are like the educational downlinks with the crew aboard the International Space Station during which students learn more about living and working in space. HERA analog missions simulate long-term human spaceflight to help scientists understand how isolation, confinement, and remote conditions will affect astronauts on Artemis missions to the Moon and on future missions to Mars. Learn more at

That’s what’s up this week @NASA