SpaceX's Crew Dragon-1 spacecraft successfully landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida at 2 AM ET. Four astronauts were inside the Resilience capsule: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, who returned home safely to Earth.
For SpaceX, this was the first regular mission to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA. Crew Dragon launched six months ago with a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida:
The last time NASA astronauts landed in the water at night was back in 1968. It was the Apollo 8 crew of three who were the first people to fly around the Moon. Returning from zero gravity to terrestrial gravity conditions can disorient astronauts, and landing on water increases the likelihood of seasickness.
However, NASA decided that calm night weather, sufficient moonlight, and additional factors were beneficial enough to make a landing in the ocean. One of the benefits of a night landing could also be the fewer private boats, which became a problem with the previous landing of SpaceX's capsule.
After a medical examination, the astronauts went ashore and flew to Houston. The capsule was delivered to Cape Canaveral, where it would be repaired for the next flight into space.