Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, SpaceX’s NASA astronauts splashdown safely today in the Gulf of Mexico
Ending a two month mission aimed at placing the United States back on top for human space flights.
“Thank you for flying SpaceX.”
Mission control welcomed back the astronauts with a “Thank you for flying SpaceX.” as the Crew Dragon vehicle landed on Sunday afternoon off the coast of Florida
GO Navigator, the recovery ship safely recovered the vehicle and crew despite concerns about the upcoming Tropical Storm Isaias.
After transport to Pensacola Naval Air Station, the astronauts will be taken to Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA’s official home base for astronauts.
NASA can now certify the Crew Dragon as a human rated spacecraft, allowing regular visits to the International Space Station. NASA will now have more control over this instead of relying on Russian transport to deliver American crew to the station.
Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi are the next four astronauts preparing to launch for the next mission.
The Endeavour, Hurley and Behnken’s spacecraft, is due to fly again in a Spring 2021 mission.
In 2014 NASA gave out two contracts, one to Boeing’s Starliner program and one to Elon Musk’s SpaceX program.
NASA can now move forwards with more commercial partnerships now that this has proved a successful contracting model.
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