SpaceX welcomes Nasa Crew 6 home as Dragon splashes down in Atlantic Ocean

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Four astronauts hailing from different space agencies aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour have finally returned home after spending six months on the International Space Station (ISS), NPR reported on Monday.

Nasa astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates (UAE) astronaut Sultan Al-Neyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour splashed down safely in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at 12:17am EDT after 186 days in space.

The Dragon was secured by teams on the SpaceX recovery ship, including two speedboats, to make sure the spacecraft was secure for the recovery attempt. The rescue ship positioned itself to raise Dragon onto the main deck with the astronauts inside as soon as the fast boat teams finished their operation.

The crew was brought out of the spacecraft once they were on the main deck, where they are currently undergoing medical examinations before taking a chopper to the airport in Houston.

Last March, a fiery nighttime launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre marked the start of Nasa’s Crew-6 mission.

Just after midnight ET on Labour Day, the mission came to an end on Monday after travelling 79 million miles and over 3,000 earth orbits.

At 17,000 mph, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour broke through the atmosphere, its heat shield withstanding temperatures of more than 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.

After slowing to a leisurely 15 mph over the course of an hour, the capsule gently landed in the Atlantic Ocean outside Jacksonville, Florida, protected by a canopy of parachutes.

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