Four Astronauts Complete Six-Month Station Mission with SpaceX Capsule Return to Earth

After spending six months on board the International Space Station, four astronauts arrived back on Earth early on Monday.

Off the coast of Florida, their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the Atlantic.

Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg of NASA, Andrei Fedyaev of Russia, and Sultan al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates—the first Arab to spend an extended period of time in orbit—all made their way back to Earth.
They said that since arriving in March, they had been yearning for hot showers, steaming mugs of coffee, and the coastal breeze. Due to bad weather at the splashdown sites, their return was delayed by a day, but in the end, it produced an incredible middle-of-the-night performance as the spacecraft sped through the sky above Cape Canaveral toward a splashdown close to Jacksonville.

The astronauts praised their miraculous return. There are many joyful people in this room, SpaceX Mission Control radioed.
Over a week ago, SpaceX launched their replacements.

Later this month, another crew change will take place when two Russians and an American who have been up there for a whole year return home after a long wait. After their Soyuz spacecraft lost all of its coolant and a new craft had to be launched, their stay had to be doubled.

Seven astronauts live on the space station during crew changes.

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