Saturday, May 8, 2021

SpaceX returns 4 astronauts to Earth from International Space Station

Global News shows that SpaceX safely returned 4 astronauts from the International Space Station on Sunday, making the first USA crew splashdown in darkness since the Apollo 8 moonshot.

The Crew Dragon capsule parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, just before 3 a.m., ending the second astronaut flight for Elon Musk’s company.

The crew - NASA's Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan's Soichi Noguchi - had launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 15, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

"It's not very often you get to wake up on the Space Station and go to sleep in Houston," Holly Ridings, NASA's chief flight director said at a news conference on Sunday. 

The 167-day mission was the longest for a crew capsule launching from the USA. The previous record of 84 days was set by NASA’s final Skylab station astronauts in 1974.

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