NASA and SpaceX teams have returned NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi to Earth, completing the historic Crew-1 mission. Crew Dragon Resilience splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Panama City, Florida, at 2:57 AM EDT (06:57 UTC) on Sunday May 2, marking the end of the first of six contracted, long duration, operational missions for SpaceX as a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Resilience undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) at 8:30 PM on Saturday May 1 (00:30 UTC on May 2) to begin the journey home. Its return marks the end of Expedition 64 and the start of Expedition 65, with JAXA Astronaut Akihito Hoshide becoming the commander of the ISS. He’s the second Japanese astronaut to command the station, the first being Koichi Wakata during Expedition 39.
Previously scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, and Friday, April 30, the Crew-1 undocking and splashdown was postponed due to unfavorable weather in the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida. The new schedule for Sunday morning is the first night time splashdown of a crewed American spacecraft since Apollo 8 in 1968.