On Monday, four astronauts returned to Earth aboard SpaceX, bringing a 200-day space station mission that began last spring to a close.
Before parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, their capsule raced through the late-night sky like a sparkling meteor. With lighting, recovery boats moved in fast to make sure they were all safe
“On behalf of SpaceX, welcome home to Planet Earth,” SpaceX Mission Control radioed from Southern California. Within an hour, all four astronauts were out of the capsule, exchanging fist bumps with the team on the recovery ship.”
Their return, which took place barely eight hours after they left the International Space Station, opened the stage for SpaceX to launch their four successors as early as Wednesday night.
The newbies were supposed to launch first, but NASA changed the sequence due to severe weather and an unnamed medical problem of one of the astronauts. An American and two Russians left behind aboard the space station will now be in charge of greeting visitors.
Before their departure from the space station, the 4 astronauts took a spin around the space station taking pictures. The journey is a first for SpaceX and it was NASA’s cross to bear until it retired over a decade ago
The astronauts had a challenge to overcome before finally making their way back home. They had to rely on diapers as the toilet in their capsule was not functioning.