WATCH: NASA Astronauts Return to Earth in Capsule After Lengthy Space Mission

Astronauts Return
@NASA Twitter/X

Four astronauts have arrived home to planet Earth after working for six months at the international space station.

The SpaceX capsule splashed down into the ocean off the Florida coast Monday, the Associated Press (AP) reported, and video footage shows the moment the capsule, attached to parachutes, lands in the water.

“Dragon Endeavour continuing its slow descent. There we can see splashdown on screen. Those parachutes are then cut and released. Dragon Endeavour has now returned home,” a woman narrating the clip says:

The returning  astronauts were identified as Stephen Bowen, Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Andrei Fedyaev of Russia, and Sultan al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates.

CNN reported:

The astronauts, members of the Crew-6 mission run jointly by NASA and SpaceX, departed the space station on Sunday at 7:05 am ET. The crew spent the day aboard the 13-foot-wide Crew Dragon vehicle as it maneuvered through Earth’s orbit and toward its target landing site off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, where they landed after midnight ET.

The Crew Dragon capsule was traveling at more than 17,000 miles per hour (27,000 kilometers per hour), and as it began the final leg of its descent, the spacecraft’s exterior heated up to about 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,900 degrees Celsius) while it sliced back into the thickest part of Earth’s atmosphere. Inside the spacecraft cabin, the passengers were protected by a heat shield and the temperature should’ve stayed at comfortable temperatures well below 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 degrees Celsius).

Rescuers stationed near the splashdown site readied to move the spacecraft to a boat to perform safety checks before the crews could emerge from the capsule.

Video footage shows the slow process of helping the crew exit the capsule. One of the astronauts was placed in a special chair to transport him to a medical bay for routine health checks, according to SpaceX:

The crew had recently been working to relinquish operations to another team, identified as Crew 7, who arrived at the space station on August 27 and will take over the operations, per CNN.

“During their stint in space, the Crew-6 astronauts were slated to oversee more than 200 science and tech projects,” the outlet said.

The returning astronauts said it felt great to be home again.

“You’ve got a roomful of happy people here,” SpaceX Mission Control said on its radio.


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