Four space station astronauts make a dramatic pre-dawn descent.

After six months at the International Space Station, a three-man, one-woman crew returned to Earth early Tuesday, 

 shooting across America like a meteor as their Crew Dragon capsule splashed into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Crew Dragon "Endurance" landed gently south of Pensacola, Florida, at 5:47 a.m. EDT after 199 days, 3,184 orbits, and 84.4 million miles.

SpaceX's nearby team lifted the capsule and its crew—commander Jasmin Moghbeli,

European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japanese flier Satoshi Furukawa,

and cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov—to the Megan's aft deck and opened the side hatch.

After six and a half months in weightlessness, the astronauts were brought out one by one on stretchers and rolled inside for basic medical tests 50 minutes after splashdown to begin readjusting to gravity. 

The stretchers were typical for returning long-duration station fliers, and all four appeared healthy and happy.


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