Col. Terry Virts (centre) with sunglasses, and British pilot Captain Hamish Harding, third from right, pose with other crew members in Florida. AP
Terry Virts was part of the team whose 46-hour, 39-minute and 38-second polar circumnavigation flight ended where it began. They set the duration and speed records in a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER aircraft.
Their average speed was 535 mph (861 kph).
Dubbed "One More Orbit," the flight paid homage to next week's 50th anniversary of humanity's first moon landing.
Virts' former space station crewmate, Russian Gennady Padalka, was on the first two legs of the flight. Padalka, the world's space champ with 879 days in orbit, left during a fueling stop. Virts said in a tweet that the three stops were "NASCAR pit-stop intense." Each stop lasted less than an hour.
The plane departed from the former space shuttle landing strip Tuesday at 9:32am — the same liftoff time as Apollo 11's Saturn V rocket on July 16, 1969. It crossed over the North Pole, stopped in Kazakhstan and then Mauritius, crossed above the South Pole, stopped in Chile, and then returned to Florida.
The speed record, as recognized by the World Air Sports Federation, was last set in 2008. That was 511 mph (823 kph). The "One More Orbit" crew also set a Guinness World Record for flight duration, last set in 1977 in San Francisco at 54 hours. Representatives for both organizations were present for Thursday's landing.
As Earth grew ever smaller below his spacecraft, Apollo 10 commander Tom Stafford made an unusual request to mission control.
NASA engineers have recently installed the legs and wheels, known as the mobility suspension on the Mars 2020 rover, according to a latest release of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
India is looking to take a giant leap in its space programme and solidify its place among the world's spacefaring nations with its second unmanned mission to the moon, this one aimed at landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.
"In view of the declining cases of corona, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal approved the proposal," the official, who declined to be identified, said of a suggestion from authorities that the weekend curfew be scrapped.
The winds were dust stirring and resulted in a decrease in horizontal visibility to less than 300 metres at times over the open areas, especially the north and east.
At least 20 confirmed or preliminary positive cases were found in a public housing block in the Kwai Chung neighbourhood, said health chief Sophia Chan. "Clearly there is a community outbreak and the situation is worrying," Chan told reporters.