What an amazing experience for the whole world to share, these super brave and talented astronauts have made history in the best possible way.
SpaceX returns 4 astronauts to Earth with rare night splashdown, making the first U.S. crew splashdown in darkness since the Apollo 8 moonshot in 1968.
The Dragon capsule parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle early Sunday, just 6 1/2 hours after departing the International Space Station.
The Astronauts, three American and one Japanese, spent nearly six months at the orbiting lab. They flew back in the same capsule in which they launched from Florida in November.
SpaceX delayed their homecoming four days because of high offshore wind.
The return of the astronauts marks the completion of NASA’s first commercial crew, long duration mission aboard the International Space Station.
Overall, the astronauts traveled 71,242,199 statute miles during their 168 days in orbit
(with 167 days aboard the space station), completing 2,688 orbits around Earth.
With splashdown, the crew also broke the American crewed spacecraft mission duration record of 84 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes, set by the final Skylab crew in 1974.
After returning to shore, the astronauts will fly back to Houston.
“Welcome home Victor, Michael, Shannon, and Soichi, and congratulations to the teams at NASA and SpaceX who worked so hard to ensure their safe and successful splashdown”, said Sen Bill Nelson, who confirmed by the Senate to serve as NASA Administrator on April 29.