January 17, 2022
A capsule with 4 astronauts who spent 6 months on the territory of the International Space Station off the coast of Florida |  Science

A capsule with 4 astronauts who spent 6 months on the territory of the International Space Station off the coast of Florida | Science

The capsule of the American company SpaceX, in which four astronauts were traveling, landed late Monday night (8) in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, according to a video published by the US space agency NASA.

Rescue the spacecraft ship and its crew.

Astronauts inside the SpaceX spacecraft – Photo: Aubrey Gimenani/NASA/via AFP

After nearly six months on the International Space Station (ISS), four astronauts – two Americans, a French and a Japanese – returned to Earth on Monday (8). They were working on the Crew-2 mission, which conducted hundreds of experiments and improved the laboratory’s solar panels.

The four traveled in the SpaceX Dragon capsule, dubbed “Endeavour,” which departed from the International Space Station at 4:05 p.m. GMT.

“I’m packing at the last minute and getting ready to leave the International Space Station,” Japanese Akihiko Hoshide wrote on Twitter. “It’s been over six fun months, it’s been a pleasure and an honor to work with all these wonderful people from all over the world, on and off the planet.”

Among the astronauts’ activities during the months on the International Space Station are documenting the Earth’s surface to record human-caused changes and natural events, growing peppers, and studying some of the larvae to understand human health in space.

However, the team’s return was supposed to take place on Sunday (7), but it had to be postponed due to weather conditions.

Bad weather and what NASA considers a “minor medical problem” have also delayed the launch of a new group of astronauts, the Crew-3 mission. Departure should take place on Wednesday (10). SpaceX has been transporting astronauts to the International Space Station since 2020.

Before getting home, the four astronauts face one last challenge: they had to wear diapers during the flight, as a problem was discovered with the capsule’s waste handling system.

They have been denied access to the bathroom since the capsule doors closed at 2:40pm and would have to stay that way for about 10 hours, until they hit the floor.

“It’s definitely not perfect, but we’re prepared to deal with it,” said NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur. “Space journey is full of challenges, this is just another one that we are facing and we have to deal with in this mission.”