On Monday night, four diaper-wearing astronauts returned to Florida after a 200-day stay aboard the International Space Station. 

NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s astronaut Akihiko Hoshide separated from the ISS at 2:05pm ET, as scheduled, and landed back at 10:33pm ET off the Florida coast.

The four men were rescued from the capsule by fast boats, which was bobbling in the ocean. Three nautical miles distant, the recovery team waited.

It was officially given the go ahead for the rescue team to reach the capsule at 10.38pm.

“We watched the crewmembers streak through the atmosphere from the helipad, it looked almost like a meteor, it was incredible,” said Leah Cheshier (a NASA spokesperson).

“We could not ask for better conditions, and everything is moving really quickly here and going according to plan.” 

Although originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, high winds forced Crew-2’s return one day later.

SpaceXDue to an inept toilet design, Endeavour capsule does not have a bathroom. All four crew members wear diapers during the return trip to Earth. 

The rescheduled mission, however, cuts down the journey from Earth to the station by 12 hours. It takes only 8 hours, as opposed to the 20-hour trip. –  due to the path from the ship to Earth, so the team will not have to sport the protective undergarments as long as previously expected.

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Four diaper-wearing astronauts undocked from the International Space Station on Monday and have embarked on their journey home following a 200-day stay in space.  The capsule (pictured) is without a bathroom, due to a faulty toilet design, and all four crew members are wearing diapers on the return-trip

On Monday, four astronauts wearing diapers emerged from the International Space Station and began their return trip home. This was after a 200-day-long stay.  Due to an inadvertent toilet design, the capsule (pictured below) does not have a bathroom. All four astronauts are using diapers for their return trip.

It’s a bittersweet feeling to go… it is a magical area in the sky that grants superpowers, such as seeing and floating. [Earth]”At a glance,” Pesquet tweeted Monday morning. 

“It gives me hope, that with good intentions humans can accomplish anything when they want it to.” 

Endeavour was closed at 12:13 ET, and the astronauts were inside. The crew then performed a few short burns on Monday to leave the ISS less than two hours after closing the hatches.  

As Endeavour parachuted off the Florida coast into the Gulf of Mexico on time, it was exactly on-time. 

NASA's Shane Kimbrough (2nd left) and Megan McArthur (2nd right), along with the European Space Agency's (ESA) Thomas Pesquet (right) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide (left) are all wearing diapers for their return trip

NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA), (right) & Akihiko Hishide (left), are wearing diapers to return home.

This third astronaut crew was launched to orbit by NASA’s public-private partnership. It is SpaceX, a rocket company founded in 2002 by Elon Musk.

Because it is the second space station crew that NASA has successfully launched on a SpaceX capsule, NASA designated it Crew 2.

Prior to 2011, there had been a hiatus of nine years following the completion of the U.S. Space Shuttle Program.

The four astronauts took a turn around the station before they left the space surrounding the ISS to capture images.  

NASA’s spacecraft used to do this all the time until their retirement a decade back.

SpaceX was the first to attempt a similar flyaround.

Crew-2 has left the ISS on April 22, but Crew-3 will depart from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral in Florida, November 10, less than 48 hours later. 

As the capsule plunges through atmosphere, frictional heat can cause temperatures around vehicle to soar up to 3,500 Fahrenheit. 

NASA refers to Crew-2’s return to Earth as an “indirect” handover.

As they left the Station, Mark Vande Hei (NASA astronaut) said, “It was great to be part in your team,” as Crew-2 astronauts departed. ‘Get home safely.’

Kimbrough responded, “We learned a lot and know that Crew-3 will be treated well. Please let us know what we can do for you.” “Take care, and be safe.”

Crew-3 is preferred by the American Space Agency, as Crew-2 arrives first, so Crew-2 can overlap.

Although a handover was scheduled for October 31st, bad weather and minor issues with Crew-3 astronauts caused delays.

The initial launch was set for Sunday afternoon, but high winds pushed the return back a day. Pictured is a shot taken by the astronauts on the SpaceX return capsule after they left the International Space Station

Although the initial launch was scheduled for Sunday afternoon due to high winds, it was delayed by one day. This is the shot that the SpaceX astronauts took after leaving the International Space Station.

Astronaut Megan McArthur shared a post in her twitter account ahead of the crew's return to Earth. They have spent 200 days on the International Space Station since launching to the ship in April

Megan McArthur, an astronaut shared this tweet in advance of their return to Earth. The crew has spent more than 200 days at the International Space Station, since April when the ship was launched.

Pictured is a shot inside the SpaceX return capsule

This is a picture taken from the SpaceX Return capsule

September saw the Inspiration4 mission’s toilet malfunction. The capsule had a leaky toilet and urine was leaking underneath it.

Engineers, however, did not notice the trouble until the crew – Jared Isaacman, Sian Proctor, Haley Arceneaux and Christopher Sembroski – returned from their three-day journey around the Earth.

This was due to a problem with a tube which had become loose and unplugged. It also happened on the Endeavour capsule that SpaceX flew in April’s Crew-2 mission.

Crew investigated the return capsule as it docked with the ISS. They used video cameras to look under the panels and provide data to NASA/SpaceX to determine if the toilet looked anything like the Inspiration4 mission.

During the investigation, pools of urine were found.

At a October 29 press conference, Steve Stich (NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager) stated that the agency would not be using the system for its return leg. This was based on what they had seen in the fluids.

The rescheduled mission cuts the trip from the station to Earth by 12 hours - it is only eight hours long, compared to 20 hours - due to the path from the ship to Earth, so the team will not have to sport the protective undergarments as long as previously expected

Due to the route from Earth to Earth, the trip to Earth from station is cut by twelve hours.

The string of delays also pushed the Crew-3 mission until Wednesday, which will see NASDA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, along with ESA's Matthias Maurer fly aboard the Dragon spacecraft to begin a six-month stay in orbit on the ISS

A string of delays delayed the Crew-3 mission to Wednesday. NASA astronauts Raja Chari (Tom Marshburn), Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer will fly on board the Dragon spacecraft for a six-month orbital stay aboard the ISS.

Pictured is a map showing the location of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida

Below is a map that shows the exact location of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral (Florida).

But, astronauts often use diapers or undergarments to wash their hands in spacesuits during launches, landings, and spacewalks.

The Crew-2 return capsule is scheduled to do a fly-around maneuver after undocking.

They will be circling in the Dragon capsule around the station while photographing the ISS. This has happened since its deployment. 

Due to delays, the Crew-3 mission was delayed until Wednesday. NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer from the ESA will fly onboard the Dragon spacecraft, launching a six month stay at the ISS.


The March 2 test, the first launch of U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil in eight years, will inform the system design and operations (Artist's impression)

The system’s design and operation will be informed by the March 2 launch, which was the first U.S.-based astronaut flight in eight years. (Artist’s impression).

It measures approximately 20 feet high by 12 feet wide and can hold up to seven astronauts. 

Crew Dragon has an innovative emergency escape system that was successfully tested this year to quickly transport astronauts safely to safety in the event of an accident. It experiences about the same G forces as Disneyland’s rides. 

It also has an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) that provides a comfortable and safe environment for crew members. 

Crew Dragon will display real-time information about the status of Crew Dragon’s capabilities. This includes everything from Dragon’s location in space to potential destinations to the environmental conditions onboard.  

CRS-2 Dragon mission will be using ‘propulsive landings’. This means that the capsule is landed on a pad with its SuperDraco thrusters, rather than just splashing into the sea. 

NASA will be able to access the cargo faster from those spacecraft. NASA also has experience with propulsive landings in crewed Dragons.