Support teams work around the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft shortly...

Support teams work around the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft shortly after it landed with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Russia cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov aboard in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Credit: AP/Joel Kowsky

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Four astronauts from four countries caught a lift back to Earth with SpaceX on Tuesday to end a half-year mission at the International Space Station.

Their capsule streaked across the U.S. in the predawn darkness and splashed into the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle.

NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, a Marine helicopter pilot, led the returning crew of Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa and Russia’s Konstantin Borisov.

They moved into the space station last August. Their replacements arrived last week in their own SpaceX capsule.

“We left you some peanut butter and tortillas,” Moghbeli radioed after departing the orbiting complex on Monday. Replied NASA’s Loral O’Hara: “I miss you guys already and thanks for that very generous gift.”

O’Hara has another few weeks at the space station before leaving aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule.

Before leaving the space station, Mogensen said via X, formerly known as Twitter, that he couldn’t wait to hear “birds singing in the trees" and also craved crunchy food.

In this photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon...

In this photo provided by NASA, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is seen as it lands with NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov aboard in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. The four astronauts caught a lift back to Earth with SpaceX on Tuesday to end a half-year mission at the International Space Station. Credit: AP/Joel Kowsky

NASA prefers multiple travel options in case of rocket trouble. Boeing should start providing astronaut taxi service with a two-pilot test flight in early May.

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