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SpaceX's capsule detached from the ISS and drove to Earth with 4 aboard

SpaceX's space capsule separated from the International Space Station (ISS) and drove to Earth with four astronauts aboard, with scheduled to underwater during the dark part of the day, AP reported.
It will be the first midnight watershed of an American spacecraft since returning from the moon of “Apollo 8" in 1968.

NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan's Soichi Noguchi are on their way home with the same Dragan capsule that transported them to the ISS in November. They will now travel around six-and-a-half hours, BTA reported.

The capsule is expected to enter the waters of the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, Florida, around 3 hours after midnight. Despite the early hour, the Coast Guard has sent additional patrols to the area to remove possible midnight bystanders. The pod's landing from SpaceX's first manned flight last summer occurred in the presence of unwanted onlookers with vessels, creating security risks.

Commander Hopkins' team went into orbit on November 15 after launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The team that replaced them aboard the ISS arrived a week ago in a Dragan capsule — the same one that carried out SpaceX's first manned flight that began last spring. As planned, Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi should have already returned, but strong winds in the precinct intended for the watershed postponed that. The SpaceX company and NASA decided the most favorable would be the weather on Sunday before dawn.


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