NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have safely returned back home after the successful space mission that was carried out by SpaceX and NASA.
The two astronauts were the first people to fly to space using SpaceX’s reusable spacecraft, which aims to make space transportation more cost-efficient. The Crew Dragon launched on May 30, docked in the International Space Station (ISS) on the 31st, and on August 2 —two months later — they came back to earth safe and sound.
With its four main parachutes, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. A recovery ship eagerly went to the capsule’s location and picked it up via a crane.
This is quite historic since the first (and last) US-crewed spaceship to successfully perform a water landing was the Apollo-Soyuz mission back in 1975.
The entire SpaceX and NASA mission is a demonstration that the United States has, again, the ability to send its astronauts to space and have them return back safely.
Pilot Doug Hurley expressed his feelings of honor and privilege as they landed on earth; to which SpaceX’s Mike Heiman jokingly greeted them from the control room saying “On behalf of the NASA and SpaceX teams, welcome back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX,”. It’s like the greeting you get upon landing on a commercial plane, which is in line with SpaceX’s vision of making space travel simpler and more economical.
After exciting the capsule, astronauts Hurley and Behnken were flown off the boat to the shore and will take a plane to Houston, Texas to reunite with their families.