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SpaceX crew returns to Earth after historic space station mission science and technology news

The four astronauts from SpaceX’s first-ever full mission to the International Space Station have returned to Earth off the coast of Florida.

This is the first American splashdown under cover of darkness since the return of Apollo 8 from the moon in 1968.

Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of Japan had been orbiting Earth since November last year and detached from the International Space Station about six hours before entering the atmosphere .

SpaceX is the first private space flight operator to take a crew to and from the International Space Station on a long mission.

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