Four astronauts have returned to Earth from the International Space Station, on a nighttime landing, the first of its kind in 53 years.
The astronauts, three from the NASA station and one from the Japan Space Agency, spent nearly six months in space.
They returned in the vehicle called “Crew Dragon Resilience” that landed on the outskirts of Panama City, Florida, just before 3 am local time.
He had expected them to leave the International Space Station earlier, but bad weather in Florida led to a delay in the date.
“The teams in the Go Navigator rescue ship, which includes two boats, are now securing the” Space Dragon “spacecraft, ensuring its safety and securing its reception, a statement issued by NASA said.
“If the speedboat rescue teams complete their mission, the rescue ship will move in order to lift the spacecraft to its main deck while the astronauts remain outside,” the statement added.
The pioneers will then undergo a medical examination before they are airlifted to Houston.
The first space crew to land on Earth at night was the crew of Apollo 8, the first human mission to the Moon, which returned on December 27, 1968.
NASA collaborated on the recent mission with SpaceX on the commercial space program.
And SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, has become NASA’s preferred commercial partner.
And NASA showed, in a live broadcast, the moment the space capsule separated from the International Space Station, and its flight in the dark, and from there, its return to Earth.
There are still seven astronauts on the International Space Station, including a team of four who arrived at the station last week.
“Thanks for the hospitality, we’ll meet again on Earth,” said astronaut Michael Hopkins, as he was leaving the capsule.
The pioneers Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Sochi Nochi left for space last November, on their first trip to the International Space Station, aboard a SpaceX craft.
Two American astronauts carried out a test mission in space in 2020 and stayed on the International Space Station until July.
It was the first mission of the International Space Station that launched from US soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011, when American astronauts were arriving at the International Space Station on board Russian spacecraft.
It was also the first mission to include astronauts on board and run by a private NASA company.