PROGRES.ID – Four astronauts have successfully returned to Earth after spending six months at the International Space Station. In the early hours of Monday, local time, they safely landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, using the SpaceX capsule that transported them back.
The four returning astronauts are Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg from NASA, Andrei Fedyaev from Russia, and Sultan al-Neyadi from the United Arab Emirates. Sultan al-Neyadi is the first person from the Arab world to spend an extended period in orbit.
As reported by VOA Indonesia, before leaving the International Space Station, they had expressed their simple desires upon arriving back on Earth: to take a warm shower, enjoy a cup of hot coffee, and breathe in the sea air. However, their return was delayed by one day due to bad weather at the landing site. Finally, they got to witness the spectacular sight as their capsule streaked over Cape Canaveral, heading for a midnight landing near Jacksonville.
The astronauts expressed how extraordinary it feels to be back on Earth. SpaceX Mission Control welcomed them joyfully over the radio and conveyed that many people are thrilled with their return.
Prior to this return, SpaceX had launched a replacement capsule to take their place at the International Space Station over a week ago. Another crew change is also set to occur later this month with the return of two Russian astronauts and one American astronaut who have been staying at the station for a full year. They had to stay longer because their Soyuz capsule had a coolant leak, necessitating the launch of a new spacecraft to replace it.
Currently, there are seven astronauts on the International Space Station, conducting various experiments and tasks related to space research.