After a US record breaking 167 days docked on the International Space Station, the reusable Crew Dragon Resilience undocked from the Harmony Zenith docking port at 0035 GMT on the 2 May with Commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialists Soichi Noguchi and Shannon Walker on board. After trunk separation, exposing the craft heat shield, a 16-minute de-orbit burn began around 0603 GMT. Re-entry was approximately 0645 GMT.
The Crew Dragon Resilience splashed down off the coast of Panama City, Florida at 0656 GMT on 2 May. This was the first night-time splashdown of a crewed US spacecraft since December 1968, when Apollo 8 (Borman/Anders/Lovell) splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Two fast boats sped to the Resilience space capsule after splash down to ensure the craft’s parachutes had detached upon hitting the water as planned. A SpaceX recovery ship arrived shortly after to hoist the craft on a platform. The four astronauts later emerged from the capsule with the help of medics, before returning ashore to catch a plane back to the NASA’s astronaut headquarters in Houston, Texas.
Shannon Walker took command of the ISS for 11 days following Sergey Ryzhikov’s departure from the space Station on the 17 April 2021. JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who arrived at the ISS on the 24 April 2021 on the Crew Dragon Endeavour, took command of the ISS on the 27 April 2021.