A private, four-person international crew with the commercial space company Axiom safely splashed down Friday off Florida's Atlantic coast following a two-week mission at the International Space Station (ISS).
In a release published on its website, Axiom said the crew splashed down early Friday, about 8:30 a.m. EST, after undocking from the ISS Wednesday aboard a Dragon spacecraft leased from another commercial space company, SpaceX.
The crew included retired NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who served as the mission's commander; from Italy, Italian Air Force Colonel Walter Villadei; from Turkey, Mission Specialist Alper Gezeravcı and, from Sweden, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Marcus Wandt.
It was Axiom's third crewed mission to the ISS and the first with an all-European crew. During the trip, Gezeravcı became the first-ever Turkish citizen to fly in space, and Wandt, the first ESA astronaut to fly on a commercial mission.
The company said during the 18-day mission on the orbiting laboratory, the Axiom crew conducted more than 30 experiments and more than 50 "outreach engagements," that included video discussions with school children from their home countries.
Turkey, Italy and Sweden reportedly helped finance the mission by each paying about $55 million.
Axiom Space said it plans to launch its fourth mission, AX-4, to the ISS later this year from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.