Crew-1 Dragon returned to Earth early this morning in the first night-time SpaceX Dragon splashdown in the Gulf Of Mexico just off coast of Panama City, Florida at 6:56 GMT / 11:56 PM PDT.
Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi spent a total fo 168 days in space – double the previous record in space flight. Crew 1 flew to the space station on SpaceX Dragon six months ago when Falcon 9 launched the spacecraft from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
After medical checks, the astronauts will be flown to shore by helicopter and transferred to a NASA jet for a flight back to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
This morning’s splashdown is the second splashdown for astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon and the first water landing at night since two cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz 23 spacecraft came down in a lake in Kazakhstan during a blizzard in 1976.
Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on a flawless return to Earth. Welcome home Crew 1!