Four astronauts returned to Earth in a SpaceX capsule Friday after their nearly six-month space station mission with a splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida.
Their return was delayed by wet and windy weather across Florida, but SpaceX and NASA finally gave the all-clear on Friday.
Finally, the astronauts, three Americans and one Italian, departed the International Space Station, their residence since April.
The capsule parachuted into the ocean, just off Jacksonville, Florida, about five hours later.
The astronauts include Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, the first Black woman to complete a long-term spaceflight, and the European Space Agency’s Samantha Cristoforetti. SpaceX delivered their replacements last week, according to Associated Press report.
Before checking out, the astronauts said they couldn’t wait to have a cold drink with ice, eat some pizza and ice cream, take a shower, revel in nature and, of course, reunite with their families.
“Getting the first few hugs when we get back is really going to be awesome,” Hines told reporters earlier in the week.
According to AP report, remaining aboard the space station are three Americans, three Russians and one Japanese.