WASHINGTON: Two NASA astronauts have safely returned to Earth from the International Space Station onboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, marking the completion of a historic flight called demonstration (Demo-2) mission. The Demo-2 test flight for NASA's Commercial Crew Programme has become the first to deliver astronauts to the space station and return them safely to Earth onboard a commercially built and operated spacecraft. SpaceX's Crew Dragon, carrying Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, splashed down under parachutes in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2.48 pm EDT on Sunday and was successfully recovered by SpaceX.
"Welcome home, Bob and Doug! Congratulations to the NASA and SpaceX teams for the incredible work to make this test flight possible," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
"It's a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together to do something once thought impossible. Partners are key to how we go farther than ever before and take the next steps on daring missions to the Moon and Mars."
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk appeared super excited at the completion of the test flight as he congratulated both NASA and SpaceX on the accomplishment that marked the beginning of a new era in human spaceflight. (IANS)