Four astronauts return from ISS on SpaceX flight
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Four astronauts return from ISS on SpaceX flight

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On Saturday, a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four crew members safely returned from a five-month science mission aboard the International Space Station.

A NASA-SpaceX webcast revealed that the SpaceX capsule, dubbed Endurance, dropped into the water just after 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT), carrying two NASA astronauts, one Japanese astronaut, and one Russian cosmonaut after a roughly nine-hour flight from the orbital research lab.

On October 6, the Crew-5 team set off from Florida to carry out routine science on the station. It included cosmonaut Anna Kikina, 38, who turned into the main Russian to fly on an American rocket in 20 years, and NASA flight leader Nicole Aunapu Mann, 45, the principal Local American lady sent into space.

Additionally on board were Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, a veteran of four previous spaceflights, and NASA pilot Josh Cassada, 49.

The Team Winged serpent shuttle, a gumdrop-formed unit intended to send off on SpaceX's Hawk 9 rockets, undocked from the space station right off the bat Saturday morning and reappeared Earth's climate around 8:11 p.m. EST (0111 GMT Sunday), persevering through frictional intensity that sent temperatures outside the container taking off to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,930 degrees Celsius).

Just before splashdown, two sets of parachutes were deployed to stop the capsule's descent to 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour).

After nearly a decade of relying on Russia's Soyuz program for space station flights, the United States returned to crewed launches from American soil with the launch of SpaceX's sixth crewed mission for NASA in May 2020.

Under a renewed agreement signed in 2022 between NASA and Russia's space agency to conduct joint flights, Kikina, the sole woman in the Russian cosmonaut corps, was the first Russian to fly on an American spacecraft. In September, NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, who is currently stationed there, launched there on a Soyuz rocket.

Getting a rescue dog for his family was on NASA astronaut Josh Cassada's list of things to do. Before leaving the space station, he joked, "Please don't tell our two cats."

Three people from the United States, three from Russia, and one from the United Arab Emirates remain behind at the space station.

Over the course of five missions, Wakata, Japan's champion in spaceflight, has now spent more than 500 days in space, dating back to NASA's shuttle era.

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