clearn.png
Saturday October 23rd, 2021 6:03AM

SpaceX capsule departs station with 4 astronauts, heads home

By The Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts departed the International Space Station late Saturday, aiming for a rare nighttime splashdown to end the company’s second crew flight.

It would be the first U.S. splashdown in darkness since Apollo 8′s crew returned from the moon in 1968.

NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, headed home in the same Dragon capsule that delivered them to the space station last November. The ride back was expected to take just 6 1/2 hours.

“Thanks for your hospitality,” Hopkins radioed as the capsule undocked 260 miles (420 kilometers) above Mali.

SpaceX targeted a splashdown around 3 a.m. Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida. Despite the early hour, the Coast Guard deployed extra patrols — and spotlights — to keep any night-owl sightseers away. The capsule of the first SpaceX crew was surrounded by pleasure boaters last summer, posing a safety risk.

Hopkins, the spacecraft commander, rocketed into orbit with his crew on Nov. 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Their replacements arrived a week ago aboard their own Dragon capsule — the same one that launched SpaceX’s first crew last spring.

The four should have been back by now, but high offshore wind kept them at the space station a few extra days. SpaceX and NASA determined the best weather would be before dawn.

The delays allowed Glover to celebrate his 45th birthday in space Friday.

“Gratitude, wonder, connection. I’m full of and motivated by these feelings on my birthday, as my first mission to space comes to an end,” Glover tweeted.

Saturday night’s undocking left seven astronauts at the space station: three Americans, two Russians, one Japanese and one French.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
SpaceX capsule departs station with 4 astronauts, heads home
A SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts has departed the International Space Station and is aiming for a rare nighttime splashdown
8:54PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Jets go offense early before making run on defense in draft
The New York Jets’ offense was downright offensive on most Sundays the past few seasons
8:27PM ( 32 minutes ago )
California Democrats sharpen messaging against Newsom recall
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is winning support from top Democrats including Vice President Kamala Harris as he prepares to face a recall election later this year
8:18PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Medina Spirit gives Baffert record 7th Derby win
Medina Spirit has won the 147th Kentucky Derby by a half-length over Mandaloun to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert a record seventh victory in the premier race for 3-year-olds
7:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trainer Lukas pinch hits for 'Riders Up' command
Hall of Fame trainer D
6:58PM ( 2 hours ago )
Season of the Slump: Baseball keeps swinging and missing
Baseball is swinging and missing
6:36PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Governor: Indianapolis 'still reeling' from FedEx shooting
Hundreds of people have gathered at a downtown Indianapolis football stadium to remember the eight people killed in a mass shooting at a FedEx warehouse
4:01PM ( 4 hours ago )
Missouri latest state to thwart voter-approved policies
The Missouri Legislature is the latest statehouse fighting to undo voter-backed ballot measures
3:56PM ( 5 hours ago )
Booms in Idaho, Utah buck the curve of slowing US growth
Two Western states known for rugged landscapes and wide-open spaces are bucking the trend of sluggish U.S. population growth, which dipped to the lowest level since the Great Depression
2:38PM ( 6 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
May Day protesters demand more job protections amid pandemic
Workers and  union leaders have dusted off bullhorns and flags that had stayed furled during coronavirus lockdowns for boisterous May Day marches
4:13PM ( 4 hours ago )
The Latest: India opens vaccination to all adults amid surge
India has opened vaccinations to all adults in hopes of taming a monstrous spike in COVID-19 infections
3:11PM ( 5 hours ago )
How the Gaetz probe grew from sex trafficking to medical pot
Before Matt Gaetz rose to national prominence as an ardent backer of Donald Trump, the now-Florida congressman carved out an unusual reputation as a Republican state lawmaker who wanted to liberalize marijuana laws
1:38PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business
Jets go offense early before making run on defense in draft
The New York Jets’ offense was downright offensive on most Sundays the past few seasons
8:27PM ( 33 minutes ago )
California Democrats sharpen messaging against Newsom recall
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is winning support from top Democrats including Vice President Kamala Harris as he prepares to face a recall election later this year
8:18PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Black Freedmen struggle for recognition as tribal citizens
As the U.S. faces a reckoning over its history of racism, some Native American tribal nations that once owned slaves also are grappling with their own mistreatment of Black people
8:10PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The Latest: 10% of Washington town positive for COVID-19
 About 10% of the population of Republic, a small city in north-central Washington, has tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak traced to large indoor events last month at the local Fraternal Order of Eagles hall
8:10PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Burns struggles to keep share of Tampa lead with Bradley
Sam Burns appeared to be sailing along Saturday in the Valspar Championship
7:44PM ( 1 hour ago )