A SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule carrying four astronauts back to earth splashed down off Florida on the Sunday morning, as gathered from a NASA Livestream.
The crew reported that they were feeling well after coming back to earth following a nearly six-month-long mission aboard the International Space Station. The capsule landed back to earth at 6:56 am in the dark on the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City after cruising through six and half hour flight from the ISS. The information was gathered by NASA’s WB-57 high altitude research aircraft.
Teams aboard the Go Navigator Recovery Ship retrieved the capsule and hoisted it back on the deck about half an hour later. This was the first splashdown for NASA since the crew of Apollo 8 arrived in the Pacific Ocean on the night of December 27th, 1968. Commander Michael Hopkins was the first to emerge after the hatch was opened, followed by fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover.
“On behalf of the crew-1 and our families, we just want to say thank,” Hopkins said in a NASA tweet. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi were the two other astronauts aboard. The four astronauts went to space last November as the crew on the first fully operational mission to ISS aboard a vehicle made by Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which has become NASA’s favourite commercial transportation partner.
NASA in a statement said that the four crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before being flown by helicopter to Pensacola to board a plane for Houston to be reunited with their friends.