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Watch: Israeli astronaut returns to Earth after mission to International Space Station

Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe and the rest of the Axiom-1 team egress from the space capsule that brought them back to Earth, taking their first breaths of fresh air since departing for the International Space Station.

Source: TOI

The crew of the Ax-1 crew on the Dragon spacecraft safely landed on Earth on Monday.

The spacecraft entered the atmosphere at a speed of about 17,000 miles per hour. The friction in the atmosphere layer drastically slowed the spacecraft while heating the capsule to temperatures above 1600 degrees. Throughout the process, ventilation systems in the spacecraft and suits protected the crew members and the spacecraft itself.

The craft slowed down considerably before deploying its parachute and landing safely in the water.

The craft carried Eytan Stibbe, Israel’s second astronaut.

Stibbe blasted off to space on April 8 on the Space X Axiom mission, and spent the following weeks on the International Space Station.

  • Poor weather delayed the astronauts’ return to Earth.

“The brain has already gotten used to changing positions at 90 degrees and to having to attribute the floor to what is below you, even if it’s a wall,” he said.

On the daily routine at the station, he added: “You get up at six in the morning and have an hour to get ready, at 7:30 there is a briefing with all the ground control stations. Then everyone goes on his way and in the evening there is another briefing.” He noted that the guiding principle at the station is that “slow is fast”.

Asked if he thinks the space tourism enterprise should be expanded, as a space tourist himself, Stibbe replied, “It is definitely a worthy and extraordinary experience to see the Earth from the outside and understand how limited it is in resources. There is room for all future professionals to be in space – not just professional astronauts. The professions will be dispersed, there will not be an astronaut who knows how to do everything. There will be people who will be in charge of engineering and others in charge of nutrition and there will be doctors.”

As for his plans for the Seder night in space, Stibbe said, “I eat one matzah, and I have gefilte fish that the Russians found here. And I also have a glass of wine for Kiddush.” Finally, he concluded, “Hello from the space station, and Chag Sameach to all.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog congratulated Stibbe following the successful landing.

“Welcome back to Earth, Israeli astronaut Eytan Stibbe! One small step for man, one giant leap for the State of Israel and mankind’s space mission,” Herzog wrote on Twitter.

Stibbe is the first Israeli astronaut in 19 years, following Ilan Ramon’s mission in 2003 aboard the space shuttle Columbia.

Ramon and the rest of the crew were killed when the space shuttle broke up upon reentry.

Source: Arutz Sheva