NASA and SpaceX astronauts complete first splashdown to Earth in 45 years

NASA and SpaceX have successfully brought astronauts back from the International Space Station with the first ocean landing in 45 years.

Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken returned safely, splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles off Florida, early on Sunday evening.

Behnken called their trip “quite an odyssey”, as Space X founder Elon Musk said he had prayed for a successful outcome.

The spacecraft went from 17,500mph (28,000kmh) in orbit to 350mph (560kmh) during re-entry, and finally to 15mph (24kmh) as it parachuted into the water.

It was exposed to a peak temperature of 1,900C (3,500F) during the descent.

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