(WASHINGTON) The crew of the Crew-5 mission sent into space by a SpaceX rocket on behalf of NASA returned to Earth on Saturday, after a five-month stint on the International Space Station, according to images from the US agency.
The “Endurance” capsule fell into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after nine o’clock in the evening off the west coast of Florida, with Japanese Koichi Wakata, Russia’s Anna Kikina, and NASA’s Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada on board.
NASA explained that Crew-5, which launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, last October, was the fifth space mission for Koichi Wakata and the first among the other members, allowing Nicole Mann to become the first Native American sent into space.
Before leaving the International Space Station, the crew met up with Crew-6, which departed on the 1stany March from the same place to take charge.
Less than a week ago, a Russian Soyuz rocket took off from Kazakhstan to replace the MS-22 spacecraft, also Russian, which was damaged during docking with the International Space Station.
The three MS-22 members, an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, were scheduled to return to Earth at the end of March after a six-month mission, but will eventually stay for about a year.
Cooperation on the International Space Station has become one of the last areas in which Washington and Moscow continue to work together since Russia invaded Ukraine just over a year ago.