Astronauts safely splash down after Space Station mission

Sunday, May 2
SPACE

Four astronauts splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, completing NASA’s first commercial crew, long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station.

The return comes nearly six months after the crew members arrived at the microgravity laboratory and also marks the longest-duration mission of a crewed American spacecraft to date.  

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, carrying NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, returned to Earth in a parachute-assisted splashdown at 2:56 a.m. EDT off the coast of Panama City, Florida.

Crews aboard SpaceX recovery vessels successfully recovered the spacecraft and astronauts. 

This is the first night splashdown of a U.S. crewed spacecraft since Apollo 8’s predawn return in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 27, 1968, with NASA astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders.