SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft returned to Earth on Saturday night. The capsule, carrying four crew members from the International Space Station, landed in the Gulf of Mexico just after 3 a.m. (Dutch time). SpaceX is Elon Musk’s commercial spaceflight company.
The four astronauts, two Americans, a Russian and a Japanese, spent 157 days in space. They started their return journey on Saturday. It had to be postponed several times due to bad weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico.
“It was quite the ride,” American astronaut Nicole Mann told flight control after the so-called splashdown. “We’re glad to be back home.”
A rescue ship with personnel from NASA and SpaceX was ready near where the Crew Dragon splashed into the sea. That was not far from the Florida coast. The capsule, crew and all, was hoisted aboard the ship and opened there. The astronauts are medically examined on board and then fly to the mainland by helicopter.