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NASA’s SpaceX astronauts successfully splashdown on earth, ending 200-day flight

Onboard the Crew Dragon were NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet coming home after a nearly six-month-long science mission at the International Space Station.
 

NASA SpaceX astronauts successfully splashdown on earth, ending 200-day flight-dnm
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New York, First Published Nov 9, 2021, 2:40 PM IST
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Four astronauts returned to Earth on Monday, riding home with SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission that began last spring, just two days before a Falcon 9 rocket is set to loft four more to orbit on NASA's Crew-3 mission. Their capsule streaked through the late night sky like a meteor before parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Fla. Recovery boats quickly moved in with spotlights.

Onboard the Crew Dragon were NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet coming home after a nearly six-month-long science mission at the International Space Station.

Dubbed Endeavour, the Dragon vehicle, parachuted into the sea as planned just after 10.30 pm EST on Monday (around 9 am on Tuesday, November 9), following a fiery re-entry descent through Earth's atmosphere carried live by a NASA webcast. Due to high winds in the recovery zone, the return of four astronauts was delayed who should have been back Monday morning.

"Endeavour, on behalf of SpaceX, welcome home to planet Earth," a voice from the SpaceX flight control center in suburban Los Angeles was heard telling the crew as a safe splashdown was confirmed. "It's great to be back," one of the astronauts radioed in reply.

"Crew-2 Commander Shane Kimbrough and Pilot Megan McArthur monitor data as Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet captured photos of the International Space Station during the first-ever 'fly around' of the complex from inside a commercial Crew Dragon," Nasa said in a blog post.

However, it wasn't the most comfortable ride back. The toilet in their capsule was broken, and so the astronauts needed to rely on diapers for the eight-hour trip home. They shrugged it off late last week as just one more challenge in their mission.

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