Crew-1 SpaceX's first six-month mission to the ISS has ended. The ship has successfully returned to Earth (video)

Early morning 2 May 2021 in the Gulf of MexicoSpaceX's six-month mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program for the development of private manned spacecraft has been successfully completed. It took the astronauts just 6.5 hours to return from orbit, and the completion of the mission was streamed live on SpaceX and NASA's official YouTube channels.

Crew Dragon head capsule with fourastronauts on board splashed down in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico near the town of Pensacola, Florida, at 06:56 UTC (09:56 UTC). The capsule landed using parachutes, and from the water it was promptly fished out by SpaceX's special rescue vessel Go Navigator, which had already performed a similar operation on August 2, 2020 with the first manned spacecraft Crew Dragon Demo-2.

Landing of the Crew Dragon marks the end of 165daily first regular mission Crew-1. At the same time, the first night landing of an American spacecraft in the last 52 years was made. The last time NASA landed the Apollo spacecraft at night was back in 1968.

For 165 days and 20 hours the Crew-1 missionperformed by three Americans: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese Soichi Noguchi. To replace the first crew delivered to the ISS by the SpaceX rocket, on April 24, the second crew was delivered to the ISS, which, as part of the Crew-2 mission, will continue the space watch on board the international station.

The second expedition also has an internationalcomposition: two representatives of NASA (Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbrough) and one each from the European Space Agency (Thomas Peske) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Akihiko Hoshide). The capsule in which the Crew-2 astronauts arrived in orbit was reused by SpaceX, just like the Falcon 9 launch vehicle that launched it into orbit. The expedition will last about six months.