After a record-breaking 167 days docked on the International Space Station (ISS), the reusable Crew Dragon Resilience undocked from the Harmony Zenith docking port at 0035 GMT on 2 May. Commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialists Soichi Noguchi and Shannon Walker were on board. Following trunk separation, exposing the craft’s heat shield, a 16-minute de-orbit burn began at 0603 GMT. Re-entry was at 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) landed in the Pacific Ocean. Two boats sped to the Resilience space capsule after splashdown to ensure the craft’s parachutes had detached as planned upon hitting the water. A SpaceX recovery ship arrived shortly afterwards to hoist the craft onto a platform. The four astronauts later emerged from the capsule with the help of medics, before returning ashore to catch a plane back to 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 17 April. JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who arrived at the ISS on 24 April on the Crew Dragon Endeavour, took command of the ISS on 27 April.