4 astronauts returned safely to Earth from the Worldwide Area Station early on Sunday in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, parachuting to splash-down within the Gulf of Mexico, NASA mentioned.
Their return marked the tip of the primary crew rotation mission to the station by the Crew Dragon spacecraft, developed in partnership between NASA and Elon Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX, the company mentioned in an announcement.
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The crew – NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi – had launched from the Kennedy Area Middle in Florida on November 15, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The capsule, dubbed Resilience by the crew, splashed down in darkness off the coast of Panama Metropolis, Florida.
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The mission was a part of NASA’s fledgling public-private partnership with SpaceX, the rocket firm based in 2002 by Musk, who can also be CEO of electrical automobile maker Tesla.
The mission marks the second “operational” house station group to be launched by NASA aboard a Dragon Crew capsule since the USA resumed flying astronauts into house from US soil final 12 months, following a nine-year hiatus on the finish of the US house shuttle program in 2011.