SpaceX's Crew Dragon splashes back to Earth after debut flight

SpaceX's Crew Dragon splashes back to Earth after debut flight

SpaceX's Crew Dragon splashes back to Earth after debut flight

SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule on Friday returned home from its historic six-day test flight.

On Friday at 8:45 a.m. EST, the Crew Dragon splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, Space.com reported.

Musk's tweet was his reaction an article, published by the Ars Technica technology news outlet, about Russia's reaction to the recent launch of SpaceX-manufactured Crew Dragon vehicle and its docking to the International Space Station (ISS).

"For the first time, we've gotten to see an end-to-end test, and so now we've brought together the people, the hardware and all the processes and procedures, and we've gotten to see how they all work together, and that's very important as we move toward putting people onboard", said NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, who will crew SpaceX's first operational mission to the space station following Demo-2.

Over the course of the last week, SpaceX took a giant leap toward launching humans from Cape Canaveral for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. In the long run, said Nasa's Johnson Space Center director Mark Geyer, US astronauts will continue to learn Russian, and vice versa. At a pre-launch briefing, SpaceX Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability Hans Koenigsmann said that the company is still in the final stages of development on Crew Dragon's internal controls. SpaceX has always intended for its Dragon capsules to transport humans, but every Dragon launched to the ISS so far-16 in all-has carried only cargo.

The Crew Dragon never loses its built-in escape rockets, which eliminates that danger and simplifies the system overall. But the Dragon went through all the steps that will have to be executed when astronauts climb aboard the next spaceship, as early as this July. While improvements still need to be made, the company aims to fly NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on the next test flight.

ISS Crew Member Earth Continues Work Aboard the Station 1
Earth making sure she is on schedule | Image credit NASA Anne McClain

Dragon extracted itself from the ISS this morning and left Earth's orbit and re-entered our atmosphere a short time ago.

The nose cone of the Crew Dragon was closed once the burn completed, unlike the cargo version, which jettisons its own covering during launch.

Additional issues may turn up as a result of Demo-1's post-flight assessment, or during an upcoming test of the Crew Dragon's in-flight abort system. The capsule was repacked with about 300 pounds of material for return to Earth, including a failed spacesuit component and two cold bags loaded with experiment samples. However, Crew Dragon is carrying one lifeless - but lifelike - passenger, a dummy outfitted with a variety of sensors so scientists can measure the forces exerted on the body during the mission. It successfully linked up with the space station the next day.

Last Sunday, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques was the first to enter the Dragon when it arrived and the last to leave.

After reaching space, the Crew Dragon spacecraft spent 24 hours chasing the space station.

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