NASA’s Commercial Crew Program in collaboration with external companies like SpaceX, is developing safe, reliable, and cost-effective space travel.
Having started their journey over five months ago, four NASA astronauts safely landed their SpaceX Dragon crew capsule, on the coast of Florida on Sunday, May 2.
The five-month trip to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule — dubbed Resilience — included NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and Shannon Glover, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. They boarded their spacecraft on Saturday night for the return journey back to Earth, which took a total of six and a half hours, landing in Florida waters at 2:56 a.m. ET.
This particular landing is momentous as it is the first nighttime splashdown for a crewed US spacecraft since Apollo 8 returned to Earth in 1968.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has worked with several American aerospace industry companies to facilitate the development of U.S. human spaceflight systems since 2010. The goal is to have safe, reliable and cost-effective access to and from the ISS and foster commercial access to other potential low-Earth orbit destinations.
NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX in September 2014 to transport crew to the ISS from the United States. These integrated spacecraft, rockets and associated systems will carry up to four astronauts on NASA missions, maintaining a space station crew of seven to maximize time dedicated to scientific research on the orbiting laboratory.
The crew made headlines when they started their journey five months ago, not just for being on such an important mission with SpaceX, but for bringing along a “Baby Yoda” plush doll that was seen bobbing along in zero gravity with them.
Having left Earth on November 15 last year, the crew spent 168 days in orbit, including 167 days spent on the ISS.
While awaiting the return of Resilience, four more astronauts from three countries blasted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23 aboard SpaceX craft Crew 2 to the ISS.
Resilience’s safe return can be observed as a testament to our human will to survive, and the hope we carry for a better future for all.
" ExpatGo welcomes and encourages comments, input, and divergent opinions. However, we kindly request that you use suitable language in your comments, and refrain from any sort of personal attack, hate speech, or disparaging rhetoric. Comments not in line with this are subject to removal from the site. "