3 May 2021
SpaceX safely returned four astronauts from the International Space Station on Sunday, making the first US crew splashdown in darkness since the Apollo 8 moonshot. The Dragon capsule parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, ending the second astronaut flight for Elon Musk’s company. T
he astronauts, three American and one Japanese, flew back in the same capsule - named Resilience - in which they launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in November. It was an express trip home, lasting just 6 1/2 hours. Their 167-day mission is the longest for astronauts launching from the U.S. The previous record of 84 days was set by NASA’s final Skylab station crew in 1974. Saturday night’s undocking left seven people at the space station, four of whom arrived a week ago via SpaceX.
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