SpaceX brings back 4 astronauts to Earth, ending 200-day flight
New Delhi : Four astronauts returned to Earth on Monday, ending their 200-day-long flight to space station.
Their capsule streaked through the late night sky like a dazzling meteor before parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. Recovery boats quickly moved in with spotlights.
“On behalf of SpaceX, welcome home to Planet Earth,” SpaceX Mission Control radioed from Southern California.
They completed their journey from the ISS to Earth within 8 hours, making way for the launch of replacements as early as Wednesday night.
The newcomers were scheduled to launch first, but NASA switched the order because of bad weather and an astronaut’s undisclosed medical condition. The welcoming duties will now fall to the lone American and two Russians left behind at the space station.
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and France’s Thomas Pesquet should have been back Monday morning, but high wind in the recovery zone delayed their return.