SpaceX brings 4 astronauts home with midnight splashdown


On Friday, SpaceX returned four astronauts to Earth with a midnight splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, capping Elon Musk's taxi service's busiest month yet.

Image Credit:nbcnews

Less than 24 hours after leaving the International Space Station, the three American astronauts and one German in the capsule were bobbing off the Florida coast near Tampa

Later that morning, NASA anticipated them back in Houston.

Before parting ways, NASA's Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, as well as Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency

embraced the seven astronauts who remained at the station

"It's the end of a six-month mission," Maurer said, "but I believe the space dream goes on."

After completing a charter mission to the station for a trio of businessmen, SpaceX brought up their American and Italian replacements last week.

In less than a month, there have been two crew launches and two splashdowns

Since starting to ferry humans for NASA, Musk's business has flown 26 people into orbit in less than two years. There were eight space tourists among the 26.

The three visitors and their ex-astronaut escort who dropped by in April


after decades of resistance, opened up NASA's side of the station to paying guests, according to the newly returned astronauts.

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