Featured Stories

NASA: Private astronauts finally return home tonight

SpaceX Astronauts Return
In this image made from NASA TV video, the SpaceX Dragon capsule is retrieved from the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle early Sunday, May 2, 2021. SpaceX returned four astronauts from the International Space Station on Sunday, making the first U.S. crew splashdown in darkness since the Apollo 8 moonshot. (NASA TV via AP)

The world’s first all-private crew to the International Space Station will be heading back to Earth tonight. The mission by the private company Axiom Space was supposed to undock Saturday from the ISS, but the plan was delayed because of high winds at the splashdown site off the Florida coast.

The four men, including a former NASA astronaut and three paying passengers, will instead leave the ISS tonight at 8:55pm Eastern for a splashdown Monday afternoon. NASA will broadcast tonight’s undocking live on NASA TV.

Despite the fact that these private astronauts were comprised primarily of businessmen from around the globe, they were still tasked with conducting scientific research during their planned ten day trip.

The private astronauts also participated in public outreach events where they videoconferenced with schools around the country.

The mission, which was made possible due to collaboration between multiple private and government agencies, cost tens of millions of dollars.

850WFTL staff writer Aaron Kahan contributed to this story.