Watch SpaceX Make the First Nighttime Splash Down Since 1968 - The New York Times
May 02, 2021 2 mins, 25 secs
Crew-1, which launched to the space station in November, will head home in the capsule called Resilience.

Eastern time on Saturday, a crew of four — three NASA astronauts and one from Japan’s space agency — pushed off from the International Space Station in a capsule built by SpaceX.

The agency has scheduled a news conference with NASA, SpaceX and other officials for 5 a.m.

The astronauts boarded the Crew Dragon and the hatch closed at 6:26 p.m., but then more than two hours passed before the capsule left as the astronauts checked that there were no air leaks from either the capsule, named Resilience, or the space station.

Just before 2 a.m., as it prepares for its return to Earth, the Crew Dragon jettisoned what SpaceX calls the “trunk” section of the spacecraft — the cylindrical compartment below the gumpdrop-shaped capsule.

2, 2020, when the first crew returning to Earth in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule — the same one that carried astronauts to the space station last week — splashed down near Pensacola, Fla.

During a news conference last year, Douglas Hurley, a member of the earlier crew that completed a water landing in the SpaceX capsule, said he had read reports by astronauts from NASA’s Skylab missions, some of the last before him to do water landings.

But when another group of astronauts, Crew-2, launched last week in a different Crew Dragon, they had a bit of a scare when mission control at SpaceX headquarters in California told them that there was a piece of debris headed their way.

Then, the United States Space Command, which tracks orbiting debris, made a more perplexing update: The piece of debris that supposedly passed by the Crew Dragon never existed at all.

He is also the first Black NASA astronaut to be a member of a space station crew.

(Colonel Hopkins is also the first member of the newly created U.S. Space Force to go to space.) He was one of nine astronauts selected by NASA in 2009.

He has made one previous trip to the International Space Station, in 2013-14, spending 166 days in orbit.

He was a member of the crew of the space shuttle Discovery in 2005, on the first shuttle launch after the loss of Columbia and its seven astronauts more than two years earlier.

During that visit to the International Space Station, Mr.

In 2009-10, he spent five months in orbit as a member of the space station crew.

The space station has been a bit more crowded than usual since another SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, Endeavour, docked on Saturday, April 24.

That brought the station’s crew tally to 11, the largest number of astronauts on board since the space shuttles stopped flying (the record for most on board is 13).

The four astronauts are leaving seven astronauts behind — three from NASA, two from the Russian space agency Roscosmos, one from the European Space Agency and one from JAXA.

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