Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ISS astronauts splash down off Florida on SpaceX craft



ISS astronauts splash down off Florida on SpaceX craft

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronaunts was retrieved from the Gulf of Mexico and the crew will be flown to Houston after medical checks. NASA/AFP

ISS astronauts splash down off Florida on SpaceX craft

A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts back to Earth splashed down off Florida early on May 2 in NASA's first nighttime ocean landing in more than 50 years.

The crew reported they were feeling well after their arrival back on Earth following a nearly six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said.

The capsule splashed down at 2:56am (0656 GMT) in the dark in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City after a six-and-a-half-hour flight from the ISS, night-vision images relayed by NASA's WB-57 high-altitude research aircraft showed.

Teams aboard the Go Navigator recovery ship retrieved the capsule and hoisted it onto the deck about half an hour later. It was the first nighttime splashdown for NASA since the crew of Apollo 8 arrived in the Pacific Ocean on December 27, 1968.

Commander Michael Hopkins was the first to emerge after the hatch was opened, doing a little jig as he set foot on deck, followed shortly after by fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover.

"On behalf of Crew-1 and our families, we just want to say thank you … It's amazing what can be accomplished when people come together. Y'all are changing the world. Congratulations. It's great to be back," Hopkins said in a NASA tweet.

NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi were the other two aboard.

"Welcome home Victor, Michael, Shannon, and Soichi, and congratulations to the teams at NASA and SpaceX who worked so hard to ensure their safe and successful splashdown," said new NASA administrator Bill Nelson.

"We've accomplished another incredible spaceflight for America and our commercial and international partners. Safe, reliable transportation to the International Space Station is exactly the vision that NASA had when the agency embarked on the commercial crew programme."

The four astronauts went to space last November as the crew on the first fully operational mission to the ISS aboard a vehicle made by Elon Musk's SpaceX, which has become NASA's favoured commercial transportation partner.

They travelled 114.6 million kilometres during their 168 days in orbit – including 167 days aboard the space station, NASA said.

After medical checks, the four astronauts will be flown by helicopter to Pensacola to board a plane for Houston to be reunited with their friends and family, NASA said.

"The reports are all four crew members are in great shape and in great spirits and doing really well," NASA chief flight director Holly Ridings said at a post-splashdown news briefing.

"Really just a great day. It's not very often you get to wake up on the Space Station and go to sleep in Houston," she said.

Seven astronauts remained on the ISS including a new crew of four who arrived on a different SpaceX craft last week.

"Thanks for your hospitality," Hopkins said earlier as the capsule undocked from the space station for its return journey. "We'll see you back on Earth."

Prior to that, two US astronauts made a test mission to the ISS in May and stayed for two months.

That was the first launch to the ISS from US soil since the end of the Space Shuttle programme in 2011. It was also the first crewed mission run by a private company, as opposed to NASA.

Until then US astronauts had caught rides to the ISS aboard Russian spacecraft.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential