Before leaving the space station, they said they had been craving hot showers, steaming cups of coffee and ocean air since arriving in March. Their return home was delayed a day due to inclement weather at the landing site, but ultimately put on a spectacular spectacle in the middle of the night as the capsule raced through the sky above Cape Canaveral towards from a water landing near Jacksonville.
The astronauts said it was amazing to be back. “You have a room full of happy people here,” SpaceX Mission Control said over radio.
SpaceX launched its replacements over a week ago.
Another crew change will take place later this month with the long-awaited return of two Russians and an American who have been there for a full year. Their stay was doubled after their Soyuz capsule lost all coolant and a new craft had to be launched.
Between crew swaps, the space station is home to seven astronauts.