SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule detached from the International Space Station and headed to the coasts of Florida early Sunday, encompassing four astronauts inside the Dragon capsule, called Resilience, who will perform the first water night landing in the United States in more than 50 years. .
According to the American “Space” website, the crew included NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and the astronaut of the Japanese Space Exploration Agency Soichi Noguchi, who completed a six-month mission to the station.
The astronauts set off from the station at 8:35 PM EST (0035 GMT) on Saturday May 1, then their Dragon spacecraft conducted a series of short maneuvers to move away from the space station.
The quartet of astronauts spent six months in space as part of SpaceX’s first long-crewed flight, called Crew-1, which was launched last November on top of a Falcon 9 rocket.
That flight came on the heels of a successful test flight of the Dragon spacecraft, which carried two NASA astronauts to the space station last May.
Another manned mission also recently arrived at the station on April 24, with the four Crew-2 astronauts: NASA’s Shane Kimbro and Megan MacArthur, Japan’s space agency astronaut, Akihiko Hoshid, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Their arrival was the first time that two Crew Dragon vehicles have been parked on the space station at the same time, and the arrival of Crew-2 raised the total number of astronauts to 11, and with Crew-1 leaving, the total number of astronauts returns to seven.