Elon Musk's SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida coast

Mindy Sparks
Марта 11, 2019

Crew Dragon was the first commercially-built and operated American crew spacecraft to take off from American soil and head for the ISS, carried by a commercially-built and operated rocket, the Falcon 9.

About 6 hours after departing the space station, Crew Dragon splashed down at 8:45 a.m. EST approximately 230 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

"Today's successful re-entry and recovery of the Crew Dragon capsule after its first mission to the International Space Station marked another important milestone in the future of human spaceflight", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA passed a major milestone Friday in its goal to restore America's human spaceflight capability when SpaceX's Crew Dragon returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked to the International Space Station.

The capsule was not crewed, the flight being the Dragon's first launch and landing.

It is the first commercially-built and operated American crew spacecraft to dock with the ISS. The Dragon linked with the station autonomously, being the first American spacecraft ever to do so in this manner. "You see some orange light flickering."While Dragon's crew member was a dummy named Ripley this time, the mission sets the stage for a manned flight, which will see two U.S. astronauts - one of them Behnken - book a return trip to the ISS sometime before the end of the year, according to NASA".

First autonomous docking of a US spacecraft to the International Space Station. "Beautiful parachute deployment", said Benji Reed, the director of crew mission management at SpaceX.

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"We were all very excited to see re-entry, parachute and drogue deploy, main deploy, splashdown - everything happened just perfectly".

No humans flew on the historic commercial mission, called Demo-1 - only a crash-test dummy named Ripley, 400 pounds of cargo, and the fuzzy toy Earth.

While the Little Earth stayed with the astronauts on the ISS, the Crew Dragon had to go - carrying around 330lbs worth of experiment results and gear, Space X's Crew Dragon capsule got ready to return back to Earth for the final stage of its mission.

The SpaceX mission represents the first private venture to the ISS, as well as the first time a space vessel capable of carrying people was launched by the United States in eight years.

Next in line is a test that will take place in June and will target Crew Dragon's emergency escape system.

"I don't think we saw really anything in the mission so far - we've got to do the data reviews - that would preclude us from having a crewed mission later this year", Stich said.

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