NASA’s Crew-3 astronauts share highlights of ISS mission

Shortly before their return to Earth, NASA’s Crew-3 astronauts spoke about their six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron along with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer answered reporters’ questions at an event on Friday, April 15. Everyone except Marshburn has been on their first mission to space.

The Crew-3 astronauts arrived at the outpost in November 2021 aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. During their stay, they contributed to hundreds of experiments and technology demonstrations, as well as participated in spacewalks focused on maintenance and upgrade work.

The question-and-answer session began with a question about how they, as professional astronauts, interact with the first NASA astronauts who paid their own way to the ISS after arriving on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on April 9.

Fortunately, the response was positive, and Marshburn sang their praises. “We had a lot of fun, we showed them around, showed them how to live in the space station. They were great crew members. They have also been very nice and courteous to us and so it was a great week.”

Marshburn added that the private crew had brought in “incredible hardware” for an “internationally recognized science”.

In response to a question about the biggest challenge in the early days of the mission, Maurer explained how the microgravity conditions caused a lot of disorientation, with no real “up” or “down” existence. “Even if you hang something on the wall and you think, ‘Okay, I know where it is,’ it’s like you’re moving through space and then you look at it from a different perspective and suddenly it seems like you’ve lost something Maurer explained, adding, “That was the most time-consuming point of the first few days, or even weeks.”

Barron, on the other hand, found the sheer amount of equipment aboard the ISS a distraction in the early days, saying it took her a while to quickly focus on what to look for while filtering out everything else.

The astronauts were also asked about their favorite research experiment they conducted aboard the ISS, their peak moments from the mission, and what they were most looking forward to doing back on Earth. Watch the video and you will also find out why Chari decided to grow a mustache while in space.

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