Four astronauts from the space station returned to Earth late Saturday after a quick SpaceX flight home.
Their capsule fell into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida near Tampa.
The American, Russian, and Japanese crew spent five months on the International Space Station. arrive last October. Besides dribbling space junkthe astronauts had to deal with a pair of leaky Russian capsules docked at the orbital site W Urgent delivery of a replacement vehicle for the other station Crew members.
Led by NASA’s Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to fly in space, the astronauts left the station early Saturday morning. Less than 19 hours later, their Dragon capsule was bobbing in the sea as they waited for capture.
earlier in the week, Strong wind The waves kept them in the station’s splash zones for a few more days. Their replacements arrived over a week ago.
“It was a single ride,” Mann said on the radio moments after he splashed out. “We are glad to be back home.”
Mann, a member of the Northern California Wailacki of the Rhubarb Valley Indian tribes, said she can’t wait to feel the wind on her face, smell the fresh grass and enjoy some delicious earth food.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata craved sushi, while Russian astronaut Anna Kikina longed to drink hot tea “from a real mug, not from a plastic bag.”
NASA astronaut Josh Cassada’s to-do list included getting a rescue dog for his family. “Please don’t tell our cats,” he jokes before leaving space station.
Three Americans, three Russians, and one from the United Arab Emirates remain on the space station.
Wakata, the Japanese spaceflight hero, has now logged more than 500 days in space during five missions dating back to NASA’s shuttle era.
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