After spending six months on the International Space Station (ISS), four astronauts from various space agencies onboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour have finally returned to Earth, according to NPR on Monday.
After spending 186 days in space, the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour carrying Nasa astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev safely touched down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at 12:17am EDT.
The Dragon Endeavour’s splashdown was announced by Elon Musk’s SpaceX on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Teams on the SpaceX rescue ship, including two speedboats, secured the Dragon Endeavour to make sure it was safe for the recovery attempt.
Once the speedboat teams had completed their task, the rescue ship was ready to raise the Dragon Endeavour onto the main deck with the astronauts inside.
The crew was brought out of the spacecraft once they were on the main deck, where they are currently undergoing medical examinations before taking a chopper to the airport in Houston.
Last March, a fiery nighttime launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre marked the start of Nasa’s Crew-6 mission.
Just after midnight ET on Labour Day, the mission came to an end on Monday after travelling 79 million miles and over 3,000 earth orbits.
At 17,000 mph, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour broke through the atmosphere, its heat shield withstanding temperatures of more than 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
After slowing to a leisurely 15 mph over the course of an hour, the capsule gently landed in the Atlantic Ocean outside Jacksonville, Florida, protected by a canopy of parachutes.