Four astronauts go back to Earth in a pre-dawn SpaceX pill splashdown

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Image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

By Adam Rosenberg

While a lot of the U.S. was resting on Saturday evening right into Sunday early morning, 4 astronauts aboard the International Space Station made the trip back residence.

NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and also Shannon Glover, in addition to Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), boarded their SpaceX Crew Dragon pill, referred to as Resilience, at 8: 35 p.m. ET on Saturday. Six and also a fifty percent hrs later on, all 4 were securely back on Earth, crashing off the coastline of Florida at 2: 56 a.m. ET.

The timing of their arrival is remarkable below. This was the initial nighttime splashdown for a crewed U.S. spacecraft because the Apollo 8 went back to Earth in 1968.

The over night trip for the 4 astronauts finished a journey that began on Nov. 15, 2020 when a SpaceX rocket lugged the very same 4 astronauts skyward, with a “Baby Yoda” deluxe doll in tow. There’s been no word on the standing of the Baby Yoda doll. In complete, the astronauts invested 168 days in orbit, with 167 of those days invested aboard the ISS (the remainder was transportation time). 

This notes the 2nd effective splashdown as component of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which sees the room company collaborating with outdoors rate of interests like SpaceX to send out American astronauts right into room aboard U.S. developed rockets that take off from U.S. dirt. Another SpaceX goal, referred to as Crew-2, is currently underway, after an effective launch in late April that transported 2 NASA astronauts, one JAXA astronaut, and also a European Space Agency astronaut to the ISS.

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The Resilience splashdown had not been the flashiest point to view provided the moment of day, yet it was a secure and also effective one. It’s the only point that matters, truly. And, notably, the showing up astronauts are enjoyed be residence.

How we really feel understanding that the astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 goal have actually securely gone back to our residence world. 💙 pic.twitter.com/CANUXMar9B

— NASA’s Johnson Space Center (@NASA_Johnson) May 2, 2021