Crew-1 Dragon splashes down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida. Credit: NASA/SpaceX
Four astronauts returned to Earth in their SpaceX Crew-1 Dragon spacecraft after six months aboard the International Space Station, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in the dark of night.
The Crew-1 Dragon astronauts — NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Soichi Noguchi — splashed down at 2:56 a.m. EDT (06:56 UTC) May 2, 2021, off the coast of Panama City, Florida, after some 168 days in space.
Recovery personnel work to secure the Dragon capsule and begin the processes of hoisting it onto the recovery vessel “Go Navigator.” Credit: NASA/SpaceX
This was only the second nighttime splashdown in U.S. human spaceflight history, the first being Apollo 8 in 1968. Crew-1 was also the longest spaceflight by a U.S. crew vehicle, beating the 84-day record set by the final crew to visit Skylab in 1974.
“Dragon, on behalf of NASA and the SpaceX team, we welcome you back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX,” radioed the SpaceX Crew Operations and Resources Engineer, also known as CORE. “For ...