NASA Crew Returns to Earth after 237 Days in Space

Written by By Jake Flogger, CNN

Astronauts Steven Lindsey, Sunita Williams, Joe Acaba and Douglas Hurley returned to Earth on a SpaceX Dragon cargo ship Thursday morning after spending more than 200 days in space.

Their flight was NASA’s first mission using a version of the Dragon that the American space agency is taking seriously as a replacement for the now-retired Space Shuttle.

They made two flights to the International Space Station, delivering cargo and supplies and conducting more than 600 experiments, NASA said.

“We are so thankful for your contributions and accomplishments on this flight,” said space station commander Randy Bresnik, “I’ve appreciated working with all of you and looking forward to your continued support of the crew and the Expedition 56 crew.”

NASA

The return of the crew is the end of SpaceX’s uncrewed demonstration mission. The company had been planning to return the crew as well, but it was delayed for commercial reasons.

Now that it’s done, the company will repeat the procedure, since it plans to launch astronauts to the International Space Station aboard its Falcon 9 rocket sometime next year. The mission didn’t specifically target the first test, but it did send a Dragon capsule back to Earth, as planned.

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