Four astronauts heading back from ISS

Four astronauts, including Japan's Hoshide Akihiko, are heading back to Earth after spending more than six months on board the International Space Station.

A SpaceX capsule carrying the returning crew undocked from the outpost shortly after 19:00 UTC Monday.

It is expected to splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, off the southern US state of Florida, about eight-and-a-half hours later.

Hoshide has now completed his third mission at the space station. He conducted the fourth spacewalk of his career during his latest stay, which began in April. He also became the second Japanese astronaut to serve as ISS commander.