SpaceX returns 4 astronauts to Earth, ending 200-day space station mission

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SpaceX Dragon capsule streaked through the late night sky like a dazzling meteor before parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Monday

NASA-SpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth, ending 200-day space station mission

Four astrounauts returned to earth on Monday, riding home on SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission. The crew of the SpaceX Dragon capsule reached the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Florida, on Monday. AP

NASASpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth ending 200day space station mission

Four astrounauts returned to earth on Monday, riding home on SpaceX to end a 200-day space station mission. The crew of the SpaceX Dragon capsule reached the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Florida, on Monday. Their homecoming paved the way for SpaceX’s launch of their four replacements as early as Wednesday night. AP

NASASpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth ending 200day space station mission

Parachutes are deployed from the SpaceX Dragon capsule as it descends before splashing down into the Gulf of Mexico. The newcomers were scheduled to launch first, but NASA switched the order because of bad weather and an astronaut’s undisclosed medical condition. AP

NASASpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth ending 200day space station mission

The capsule is recovered after splashing down into the Gulf of Mexico. German astronaut Matthias Maurer, who’s waiting to launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, tweeted it was a “shame” the two crews wouldn’t overlap at the space station but “we trust you’ll leave everything nice and tidy.” AP

NASASpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth ending 200day space station mission

The International Space Station is seen as astronauts in the capsule undock. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and France’s Thomas Pesquet should have been back Monday morning, but high wind in the recovery zone delayed their return. AP

NASASpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts returns to Earth ending 200day space station mission

It wasn’t the most comfortable ride back for astronauts. The toilet in their capsule was broken, and so the astronauts needed to rely on diapers for the eight-hour trip home. They shrugged it off late last week as just one more challenge in their mission. AP

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