Their SpaceX capsule ditched in the ocean south of Florida.
The first Arab to spend an extended period in space, Sultan al-Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates, returned along with fellow Nasa astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, Andrei Fedyaev of Russia, and Scott Kelly of the United States.
They came in March and by the time they left in May, they were complaining about missing the comforts of Earth like hot showers, fresh coffee, and ocean breeze.
Due to bad weather at the splashdown locations, their return home was pushed back a day, but the dramatic midday splashdown over Cape Canaveral and into the Atlantic Ocean near Jacksonville made up for the wait.
The astronauts expressed amazement at their safe return.
“You’ve got a roomful of happy people here,” SpaceX Mission Control remarked.
Parachutes slow the descent of a SpaceX capsule before it splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida / AP
The replacement astronauts were launched by SpaceX over a week ago.
Later this month, two Russians and one American will return home after spending a full year aboard the space station.
After their Soyuz spacecraft lost all of its coolant and a replacement craft had to be launched, their time in space was doubled.
Seven astronauts live aboard the space station during periods between crew changes.