KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — After a ten-day mission to the International Space Station, retired NASA astronaut and Iowa native Peggy Whitson is back on Earth after she and three crewmates splashed down last night off the Florida coast in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

SpaceX Mission Control: “SpaceX, We see splashdown and mains (parachute cables) cut. Peggy, John, Ali, Rayyanah, on behalf of SpaceX, welcome home!”

Whitson, laughing: “SpaceX, we would like to tell you that was a phenomenal ride. We really enjoyed all of it!”

Whitson, who grew up in Beaconsfield, was commander of the mission, the first private space mission in history commanded by a woman.

Read all about Whitson and the mission HERE.