SpaceX capsule and NASA crew make first splashdown in 45 years
A historic day for space exploration today as two NASA astronauts return to Earth in a dramatic splashdown on water in the Gulf of Mexico, with the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to carry people to and from orbit.
The successful return of the test flight by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company opens the way for another SpaceX crew launch next month and maybe even tourist flights as early as next year.
Pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken arrived back on Earth less than a day after leaving the International Space Station and two months after leaving the planet from Florida.
“Welcome back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX,” said Mission Control from SpaceX headquarters.
“It was truly our honor and privilege,” Hurley replied.
“This is the next era in human spaceflight where NASA gets to be the customer,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.