Four astronauts returned to Earth in a SpaceX capsule on Friday, ending their nearly six-month mission on the space station with a splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida.
Wet and windy weather across Florida delayed their return home. SpaceX and NASA finally gave the green light on Friday, and the three Americans and an Italian left the International Space Station, their residence since April.
The capsule parachuted into the ocean just outside Jacksonville, Florida about five hours later. It carried NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, the first black woman to complete a long-term space flight, and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency. SpaceX delivered their replacements last week.
Before checking out, the astronauts said they were looking forward to having a cold drink with ice, eating pizza and ice cream, taking a shower, enjoying nature, and of course reuniting with their families. NASA had planned to take them to Houston once they got off the SpaceX recovery ship and back on solid ground.
“Getting the first hugs when we get back will be really great,” Hines told reporters earlier in the week.
Three Americans, three Russians and one Japanese remain on board the space station.
Jessica Watkins makes history as the first black woman to be launched on the ISS for an extended space mission
Citation: SpaceX brings astronauts back to Earth after six months away (2022, October 15) recovered October 15, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-10-spacex-ferries-astronauts-earth-half-year. html
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