Four astronauts fly SpaceX back home, end of 5-month mission – Times of India

CAPE CANAVERAL: Four space station astronauts returned to Earth late Saturday after a quick flight SpaceX flight home.
Their capsule crashed into the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Florida near Tampa.
The American-Russian-Japanese crew spent five months on the International Space Station and arrived last October.
In addition to evading space debris, the astronauts had to deal with a pair of leaky Russian capsules docked at the orbiting outpost and the urgent delivery of a replacement craft for the station’s other crew members.
Led by NASA’s Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to fly in space, the astronauts checked out of the station early Saturday morning.
Less than 19 hours later, their Dragon pod floated in the sea as they waited for pickup.
Earlier in the week, high winds and waves in the splashdown zones kept them at the station for a few extra days. Their replacements arrived more than a week ago.
“That was a great ride,” Mann radioed shortly after landing. “We’re glad to be home.”
Mann, a member of the Wailacki of Northern California’s Round Valley Indian Tribes, said she couldn’t wait to feel the wind on her face, smell fresh grass and enjoy delicious earthy food.
Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata craved sushi, while Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina longed to drink hot tea “from a real cup, not a plastic bag.”
NASA astronaut Josh Cassada’s to-do list included a rescue dog for his family. “Please don’t tell our two cats,” he joked before leaving the space station.
Remaining on the space station are three Americans, three Russians and one from the United Arab Emirates.
Japanese spaceflight champion Wakata has now spent more than 500 days in space on five missions dating back to the NASA shuttle era.

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