NASA is celebrating the successful return of two astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS), using SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley splashed down at around 8:48pm on 2 August just off the coast of Florida. The Go Navigator recovery ship met the vehicle and had it on deck within an hour of its arrival.
This is the first time a commercially built and operated US crew spacecraft has returned to Earth to complete a test flight.
“Today we really made history,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said told reporters. “We are entering a new era of human spaceflight.”
This return completed the first US-made and launched mission from its own soil since 2011. Thus touchdown is also the first crewed US water landing since the last mission of the Apollo command module in 1975.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk celebrated the success of his company and the country, once the mission was successfully completed.
“No matter where you are on planet Earth, this is a good thing,” he said.
Watch the moment of splashdown:
“Thanks for flying @SpaceX.”
📍 Current Location: Planet Earth
— NASA (@NASA) August 2, 2020