A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the four-man team from the Houston-based startup company Axiom Space undocked from the ISS at about 9:10 p.m. EDT (0110 GMT Monday) to embark on a 16-hour return flight, a live NASA webcast showed.
The Axiom astronauts, garbed in their helmeted white-and-black spacesuits, were seen strapped into the crew cabin shortly before the spacecraft separated from the station, orbiting some 250 miles (420 km) above Earth. A couple of brief rocket thrusts then pushed the capsule safely clear of the ISS.
If all goes smoothly, the Dragon capsule, dubbed Endeavour, will parachute into the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Monday around 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT).
The flight home was postponed for several days due to unfavorable weather at the splashdown zone, extending the Axiom crew’s stay in orbit well beyond its original departure date early last week.