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SpaceX is set to return its fourth operational crew mission from the International Space Station on Friday, with the quartet of astronauts due to splash down in the company’s capsule off the coast of Florida.
The company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft “Freedom” is scheduled to undock from the ISS at 12:05 p.m. ET to begin the trip back to Earth, with splashdown expected at around 4:55 p.m. ET. The spacecraft was initially scheduled to undock at 11:35 a.m. ET but was delayed due to a hatch seal inspection – however, the 30 minute delay was still within a scheduled one-hour window to undock.
Crew-4 includes NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins, as well as European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. The mission launched in April for a six-month stay on the orbiting research laboratory.
Elon Musk’s company launched the Crew-5 mission last week, bringing four other astronauts to the ISS.
SpaceX has now flown 30 people to orbit since its first crewed launch in May 2020, with six government missions and two private ones.