SpaceX launches historic US space astronauts home

Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Mr Sharipov (top right) and astronaut Kevin Ford (bottom right) reached orbit on 3 January NASA’s two space agency astronauts Endeavour and Michael Lopez-Alegria left the International Space Station…

SpaceX launches historic US space astronauts home

Image copyright SpaceX Image caption Mr Sharipov (top right) and astronaut Kevin Ford (bottom right) reached orbit on 3 January

NASA’s two space agency astronauts Endeavour and Michael Lopez-Alegria left the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Thursday after an American-Russian mission.

After orbiting the Earth 438 times, the crew floated aboard their spacecraft.

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule brought them back in a historic flawless mission.

The other two astronauts onboard were Russian Karen Nyberg and Nasa’s Shane Kimbrough.

SpaceX’s historic 4-man crew rocketed away from the ISS on 3 January and did not return until Thursday morning (12 April).

While the astronauts are back in town, Kimbrough’s assignment to fill the rotating US space seat aboard the ISS will have to wait.

He will soon be replaced by German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is currently aboard the space station.

Earlier in the week, SpaceX paid homage to the historic flight with a launch of a rocket set to become a winged spaceship that eventually might fly astronauts around the moon.

First flown in 1968, this space shuttle-era rocket is named the Grasshopper, after SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

It is only part of SpaceX’s X-Fighter, dubbed for X-Men film character Professor X, whose special powers are called cool.

SpaceX announced plans in 2014 to create a long-duration space station cargo ship, which has thus far been only flown in short stints.

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