Crew members aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule splashed down off Florida’s Gulf coast, returning safely from a five-month science mission on the International Space Station.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 returned to Earth after a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, livestreamed video broadcast by the US space agency showed.
It splashed down on Saturday in the Gulf of Mexico shortly after 9:00 PM (0200 GMT) off the west coast of Florida.
The SpaceX “Endurance” capsule carried Koichi Wakata of Japan, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina, and NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada.
Crew-5, which launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral in early October 2022, was the fifth mission in space for Wakata and the first for Cassada, Kikina and Mann — who also became the first Native American woman in space, NASA said.
Before leaving the ISS, Crew-5 were met by the successor Crew-6 mission members, who launched March 1 from Cape Canaveral.
Splashdown of Dragon confirmed – welcome back to Earth, @AstroDuke, @Astro_Josh, @Astro_Wakata, and Anna! pic.twitter.com/LHrrqL5g6U
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) March 12, 2023
Less than a week before that, a Soyuz rocket was launched from Kazakhstan to serve as a replacement for MS-22, another Russian vessel that was damaged while attached to the ISS.
The three members of MS-22, an American and two Russians, were originally scheduled to return in late March after about six months in space, but will now stay for almost a year.
Cooperation on the ISS has become one of the few remaining areas where the United States and Russia have continued to work together since Moscow attacked Ukraine over a year ago.
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