Astronauts successfully land on Earth after trip to International Space Station
The space capsule, financed by Elon Musk, carried two NASA astronauts on a two-month trip to and from orbit.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have returned to Earth, landing on the waters of the Gulf of Mexico today. The astronauts rode on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule spacecraft to the International Space Station and back.
“It’s been a great two months, and we appreciate all you’ve done as a crew to help us prove out Dragon on its maiden flight,” Hurley said.
The space capsule, financed by Elon Musk, carried two NASA astronauts on a two-month trip to and from orbit, something no person or exploration company has done before, according to Reuters.
“On behalf of the SpaceX and NASA teams, welcome back to Planet Earth. Thanks for flying SpaceX,” SpaceX mission control said upon splashdown.
The landing also makes Musk’s SpaceX the first private company to send humans to orbit.
The test flight serves as an end-to-end demonstration of SpaceX’s crew transportation system. Behnken and Hurley launched at 3:22 p.m. on Saturday, May 30, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to orbit. This is the first launch of its kind since the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.
Hurtling at speeds of 17,500 mph, the capsule’s outer shell resisted the extreme heat of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Fortunately, Behnken and Hurley experienced only 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boeing is on its way to becoming the second commercial ride provider for NASA, Tech Crunch reported.
NASA gave a combined total of nearly $8 billion to SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop two space capsules.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!