An all-European quartet of astronauts, including Turkey's first, successfully splashed down off the Florida coast, concluding Axiom Space's third private mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Axiom Mission 3 (Ax-3) marked the company's inaugural launch where all three paid seats were secured by national agencies rather than individual investors.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, named "Freedom," descended via parachutes into the Atlantic Ocean, met by a recovery boat.
The mission, initially slated for two weeks, extended to 18 days on the ISS due to weather delays. Led by Axiom's chief astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, the diverse crew conducted 30 experiments, exploring the effects of microgravity on the human body.
Turkish pilot and air force colonel Alper Gezeravci, Italian air force colonel Walter Villadei, and Swedish representative for the European Space Agency Marcus Wandt contributed to achieving scientific objectives and technology demonstrations during their mission.