Daily US Times: A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule soared back from outer space and made a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico, returning four astronauts from a record-setting mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The astronauts — NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency — had boarded their Crew Dragon capsule on Friday afternoon, and they spent all night aboard the fully autonomous and 13-foot-wide capsule as it conducted a series of engine burns and maneuvers to prepare itself for reentry.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule fired up its engines to slice back into the Earth’s thick inner atmosphere around 2 am ET, and the spacecraft deployed a series of billowing parachutes to slow its descent before splashing down off the coast of Panama City, Florida at 2:56 am.
The astronauts’ safe return marks the end to SpaceX and NASA’s landmark mission, dubbed Crew-1, which set a record as the longest time in space by a crew that launched aboard an American-built spacecraft. It over 5 months in the space.
This is only the second time NASA and SpaceX have ever brought astronauts home aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft, following the historic return home of NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken from SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in August.
Robert Behnken had described reentry as the most gut-churning portion of the return trip.
You may read: Republican Susan Wright makes US House runoff in Texas