Japanese Astronaut Hoshide Returns to Earth

Science Society

Tokyo, Nov. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide returned safely to Earth past noon Tuesday Japan time, completing his six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying Hoshide, 52, and three other astronauts splashed down off the coast of Florida at around 12:30 p.m. (3:30 a.m. GMT), after separating from the ISS around 4:05 a.m.

After the Crew Dragon was recovered by a vessel, the hatch of the capsule was opened at around 1:15 p.m. The four astronauts appeared to be doing fine, smiling and waving.

Following its separation from the ISS, the Crew Dragon circled around the space station once at a distance of some 200 meters and took full-view pictures of the ISS to check for any abnormalities in appearance.

The photo-taking mission, called "fly around," had been carried out when space shuttles were used for space flights, but was the first for the Crew Dragon. The U.S. space shuttle program ended in 2011.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press