Kayla Barron ready to return to Earth from the ISS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — After nearly six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), Richland High School graduate Kayla Barron returns to Earth with her crewmates.

NASA livestreamed the departure of Crew 3 from the ISS online and included an estimated landing time of 12:43 a.m. EST / 9:43 p.m. PST. Coincidentally, May 5 is National Astronaut Day in the United States.

On board the ISS, Kayle Barron and her teammates worked on experiments intended to benefit future space travelers. His team’s research was designed to improve the conditions and viability of all people heading to space in the future.

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The team performed flame tests, grew cotton, observed the viability of various materials in space, studied plant and root development in microgravity, harvested chili peppers, and explored physics. This is just a small sum of the dozens of experiments and projects the team has worked on.

On this trip, Kayla Barron was assigned as a mission specialist. She used her extensive NASA training experience and engineering degree to fulfill a crucial role in these missions.

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Before returning to Earth, Barron took to social media for a personal reflection on the emotions and lessons learned on this journey:

Living and working on the International Space Station has been a transformative experience and an extraordinary privilege. Part of me is ready to go home – I miss my loved ones dearly and wouldn’t mind sipping coffee from a cup rather than through a straw – but part of me is struggling to let go.

As our mission draws to a close, I have dealt with many conflicting emotions. But above all, I am grateful – grateful to the family, friends, teachers, coaches and mentors who nurtured my curiosity, taught me how to pick myself up when I stumbled and fell, and helped me to develop the courage to pursue my dreams; grateful to my husband, who loves me unconditionally and whose unwavering faith in me helps me believe in myself; grateful to the instructors who prepared me so well for this complex mission; grateful to the dedicated flight control teams around the world who are the real experts, without whom we would be lost; and grateful to my teammates, who taught me so much about being the best version of myself.

As I reflected on this experience and what it means to return home, I thought a lot about transitions. While they can be challenging, our beautiful planet has shown me that transitions also have their own unique beauty, so here’s to honoring an incredible experience of embracing change and lifting our gaze to the horizon and the next adventure.

The Crew 3 splashdown is set to stream live on YouTube via NASA TV. If you want to watch this stream, you can tune in around 9:30 p.m. PST by clicking here.

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