A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying 4 astronauts again to Earth splashed down off Florida early Sunday, a NASA livestream confirmed.
The crew reported they have been feeling properly after their arrival again on Earth following a virtually six-month mission aboard the International Space Station, NASA stated.
The capsule splashed down at 2:56 am (0656 GMT) at nighttime within the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City after a six-and-a-half hour flight from the ISS, night-vision photos relayed by NASA’s WB-57 high-altitude analysis plane confirmed.
Teams aboard the Go Navigator restoration ship retrieved the capsule and hoisted it on to the deck about half an hour later. It was the primary nighttime splashdown for NASA for the reason that crew of Apollo eight arrived within the Pacific Ocean on December 27, 1968.
Commander Michael Hopkins was the primary to emerge after the hatch was opened, doing just a little jig as he set foot on deck, adopted shortly after by fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover.
“On behalf of Crew-1 and our families, we just want to say thank you … It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people come together. Y’all are changing the world. Congratulations. It’s great to be back,” Hopkins stated in a NASA tweet.
NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi have been the opposite two aboard.
The 4 went to area final November because the crew on the primary totally operational mission to the ISS aboard a car made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has change into NASA’s favored business transportation associate.
The 4 crew will now be taken out of the spacecraft and obtain medical checks earlier than being flown by helicopter to Pensacola to board a aircraft for Houston to be reunited with their family and friends, NASA stated.
Seven astronauts remained on the ISS together with a brand new crew of 4 who arrived on a unique SpaceX craft final week.
“Thanks for your hospitality,” Hopkins stated earlier because the capsule undocked from the area station for its return journey. “We’ll see you back on Earth.”
Prior to that, two American astronauts made a check mission to the ISS in May and stayed for 2 months.
That was the primary launch to the ISS from US soil for the reason that finish of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. It was additionally the primary crewed mission run by a personal firm, versus NASA.
Until then US astronauts had caught rides to the ISS aboard Russian spacecraft.
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