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Arts Culture SpaceX Astronauts Return To Earth: Preparing To Send Private Passengers To Space

SpaceX Astronauts Return To Earth: Preparing To Send Private Passengers To Space

NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, left, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, right are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, Sunday, May 2, 2021. | Photo: NASA / Bill Ingalls
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, left, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, right are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida, Sunday, May 2, 2021. | Photo: NASA / Bill Ingalls
By Christine Andas
By Christine Andas
May 07, 2021
On the morning of 2 May 2021, NASA astronauts onboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft has safely returned to earth. The next goal? To send private citizens to space!

SpaceX's spacecraft known as Crew Dragon Resilience has safely landed on earth, transporting Crew-1 astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi. Their return from space after nearly six months is quite momentous as it is considered the longest duration mission for a US spacecraft since 1974 which was Skylab's final mission.

By 2:56am, Crew Dragon Resilience landed around the Florida area, just 6.5 hours after undocked from the International Space Station. Their return in the evening is also one for the books as it is the first nighttime splashdown of a US spacecraft with a crew strapped inside since 1968.

 
The SpaceX Dragon returns to earth.

Crew-1's mission has contributed to various scientific investigations including new drug discoveries which are studied through protein crystal development and even developing robotic assistant technologies.

The astronauts also grew crops in the Advanced Plant Habitat and Veggie plant growth facilities. They have also contributed hundreds of pictures of Earth to continue one of the longest-running investigations aboard, the Crew Earth Observation investigation, which helps track natural disasters and changes to the earth.

Read more: Listen To The First Sound Recording On Mars

Pictured from left are Expedition 64 Flight Engineers and SpaceX Crew-1 members Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi. | Photo: NASA
Pictured from left are Expedition 64 Flight Engineers and SpaceX Crew-1 members Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi. | Photo: NASA

Right after the SpaceX recovery team helped the astronauts step ashore, the Dragon was sent back to Cape Canaveral in preparation for the next spaceflight mission—one of which will have private citizens on board. Although the spacecraft is not set to bring the private passengers to space, they will experience a three-day trip around the earth.

Read more: International Day Of Human Space Flight: 5 Unforgettable Highlights

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