A SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts departed the International Space Station (ISS) late Saturday, aiming for a rare nighttime splashdown to end the company’s second crew flight.
It would be the first US splashdown in darkness since Apollo 8′s crew returned from the moon in 1968, reports Indian Express.The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) 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.
SpaceX targeted a splashdown around 3 am 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.