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Private SpaceX crew returns safely from ISS

A Dragon spacecraft carrying a crew of three private citizens and a former NASA astronaut splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday near the coast of Jacksonville, FL.

The original ten day mission for the Axiom 1 crew turned into a 15 day stay aboard the orbiting laboratory due to unfavorable weather conditions in the landing area.

Former NASA flyer Michael López-Alegría, now an employee of Houston based Axiom Space, served as mission commander, heading up a crew made up of Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe, each of whom paid $55 million for the trip to the ISS.

The mission marked the first time an entire crew of private citizens was launched into space.

They conducted over 25 scientific experiments aboard the space station and participated in a number of educational outreach efforts.

The crew undocked from the station Sunday night at 9:10 PM and orbited the earth for 16 hours before reentering the atmosphere Monday afternoon.

Seven astronauts from the U.S. and Russian remain at the ISS.