SpaceX’s Crew-1 astronauts make “flawless” nighttime splashdown in Gulf of Mexico

NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, left, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. | Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images

Four astronauts returned from the International Space Station early Sunday morning aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico nearly six months after arriving at the orbital laboratory in November last year as the first operational, long-duration crew under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Soichi Noguchi boarded Crew Dragon and undocked from the space station on time at 8:35PM ET Saturday to begin their roughly six-hour trek home.

The crew splashed down off the coast of Panama City, Florida at 2:56AM ET on Sunday, marking the first nighttime splashdown of a crewed US spacecraft since December 1968,…

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