Astronauts return to Earth in SpaceX capsule after six month mission

Astronauts return to Earth in SpaceX capsule after six month mission

Splash down! NASA’s SpaceX Crew Dragon races back to Earth at 17,000mph before parachute deploys off coast of Florida – after six-month mission to International Space Station

  • Four astronauts have returned home following a six-month stay on the International Space Station, making a splashdown off the Florida coast 
  • The astronauts were members of a mission run jointly by NASA and SpaceX
  • Crew say they are craving hot showers, steaming cups of coffee and ocean air

Four astronauts returned to Earth early on Monday after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the Atlantic off the Florida coast.

Returning were NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg, Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev and the United Arab Emirates’ Sultan al-Neyadi, the first person from the Arab world to spend an extended time in orbit.

Before departing the space station, they said they were craving hot showers, steaming cups of coffee and the ocean air since arriving in March. 

Their homecoming was delayed a day because of poor weather at the splashdown locations, but in the end, provided a spectacular middle-of-the-night show as the capsule streaked through the sky over Cape Canaveral toward a splashdown near Jacksonville.

In this image from video made available by NASA, a SpaceX capsule, slowed by parachutes, approaches the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast on Monday

Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev (L), NASA astronaut Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg (2-L), NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen (2-R) and UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi (R) inside the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft onboard the SpaceX recovery ship MEGAN shortly after having landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville

Three astronauts and one cosmonaut have returned to earth, successfully completing a six-month stint in space 

The capsule eventually slowed to a leisurely 15 mph under a canopy of parachutes with a gentle touchdown in the Atlantic Ocean off Jacksonville, Florida

UAE  astronaut Sultan Alneyadi is helped out of the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft onboard the SpaceX recovery ship after landing on

Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev is helped out of the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour 

NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen is seen after touching down early on Monday morning

While in space, the crew conducted more than 200 experiments. 

In addition, Bowen, Hoburg and AlNeyadi conducted several spacewalks and upgraded the space station’s power systems and installed new solar arrays on the space station which has been orbiting the Earth since 2000.

The Crew Dragon capsule was traveling at more than 17,000 miles per hour and as it began the final leg of its descent.

The exterior of the spacecraft exterior heated up to about 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Inside the spacecraft’s cabin, the passengers were protected by a heat shield and with temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Clockwise from bottom, NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, NASA astronaut Warren (Woody) Hoburg and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev pose for a portrait in their pressure suits aboard the International Space Station

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is seen being lifted onto the recovery vessel after splashdown off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida

The capsule is seen being lifted onto the recovery vessel 

Members of the SpaceX Dragon Crew-6 mission (in blue) Mission Specialist Sultan Alneyadi of the United Arab Emirates (L), Commander Stephen Bowen (C-L), Mission Specialist Andrey Fedyaev of Roscosmos (C-R) and Pilot Warren ‘Woody’ Hoburg (R) as they were welcomed in March

The crew members are welcomed aboard the Space Station in March of this year 

A SpaceX spacecraft is seen as it lands with four astronauts on board

Support teams work around a SpaceX capsule shortly after it splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida

The astronauts said it was incredible to be back. ‘You’ve got a roomful of happy people here,’ SpaceX Mission Control radioed.

SpaceX launched their replacements over a week ago.

Another crew switch will occur later this month with the long-awaited homecoming of two Russians and one American who have been up there an entire year. 

Their stay was doubled after their Soyuz capsule leaked all of its coolant and a new craft had to be launched.

Between crew swaps, the space station is home to seven astronauts.

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