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Four astronauts delivered back to Earth by SpaceX

An international crew of four astronauts is back on Earth after a long-duration stay on the International Space Station. The big picture: Sunday’s splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico marks the end of SpaceX’s first fully operational crewed mission to the space station.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free. A night-vision camera captures the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule parachuting in the Gulf of Mexico as boats arrive to pick up the astronauts. Photo: NASA TVWhat’s happening: NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi splashed down about 3a.m. ET after undocking from the space station Saturday evening.The return of this crew leaves a crew of seven people on the space station now, four flown up by another SpaceX mission and three that flew to space aboard Russia’s Soyuz.What’s next: The Crew Dragon capsule — named Resilience — will now be turned around so it can be used for SpaceX’s next crewed flight, the Inspiration 4 mission to orbit expected to launch in September. As part of its refurbishment, SpaceX is planning to install a large window in place of the spacecraft’s docking adaptor to give the all-civilian crew an unmatched view of space while in orbit. Recovery vessels are on the way to hoist the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft out of the ocean and place it inside the Dragon nest aboard @SpaceX’s Go Navigator recovery ship. pic.twitter.com/J2Nhob3ifq— NASA (@NASA) May 2, 2021 Editor’s note: This article has been updated with images from the splashdown. More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free

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