ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer is back in Cologne, Germany, after 177 days in space and 175 days aboard the International Space Station for his first mission ‘Cosmic Kiss’.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying Matthias and his Crew-3 crew mates, NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron, splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, USA, at 06:43 BST/07:43 CEST on Friday 6 May. The journey from Space Station to splashdown took just over 23 hours.
After its water landing, the Crew Dragon capsule was hoisted aboard a recovery boat where the hatch was opened, and the astronauts were welcomed home.
Matthias underwent initial medical checks aboard the boat before being flown by helicopter to shore and boarding a plane to Cologne. He will spend the next weeks participating in debriefings, providing samples for scientific evaluation and readapting to Earth’s gravity at ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) and the German Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) ‘Envihab’ facility.