Private sector astronauts from around the world end trip and successfully return home

Astronauts from three countries parachuted down to Earth in a SpaceX capsule off the Florida coast, marking the end of a private three-week mission to the International Space Station.

The trio, representing Turkey, Italy, and Sweden, were escorted by former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who is now affiliated with Axiom Space, the Houston-based company that arranged the chartered flight. 

Alper Gezeravci, an ex-fighter pilot and captain for Turkish Airlines, launched from Cape Canaveral last month, making history as the first Turkish citizen in space.

Representing Italy was Air Force Col. Walter Villadei, and for Sweden, Marcus Wandt, a former fighter pilot.

Axiom-3 mission specialist Alper Gezeravci, of Turkey, reacts as he arrives at the Kennedy Space Center, Jan. 18, 2024, in Cape Canaveral.
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