Elon Musk's SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida coast

James Marshall
March 11, 2019

Launched on Saturday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Dragon docked at ISS the following day before successfully undocking Friday some 250 miles over Sudan.

NASA resumed talks with Russia's space agency Roscosmos in February seeking two additional Soyuz seats for 2020 to maintain a US presence on the space station. It's a huge step forward for NASA for the International Space Program.

An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk's SpaceX splashed into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, successfully completing a mission crucial to NASA's long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from USA soil later this year. "It's also the first commercially built human rated space craft", Gebhardt says. "He adds that" this the first time that an American spacecraft has docked since the retirement of shuttle in 2011".

At 8:35 a.m EST on Friday, the Crew Dragon deployed its parachute and landed into the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Florida. "Beautiful parachute deployment", said Benji Reed, the director of crew mission management at SpaceX.

First autonomous docking of a USA spacecraft to the International Space Station. From the images we can see that the outer shell of the craft has suffered burns upon its re-entry into the atmosphere.

Live footage from NASA showed the capsule's main parachutes opened without a hitch, and it splashed down at 8:45 am (1345 GMT), completing a mission to demonstrate that it could reliably and safely carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Demonstration Mission-1 (Demo-1) was an uncrewed flight test created to demonstrate a new commercial capability developed under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

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.

The Dragon is the first American commercially built-and-operated crew spacecraft in eight years, since the end of the space shuttle program. After SpaceX processes data from this mission, teams will begin refurbishing Crew Dragon for its next mission, an in-flight abort test targeted to take place this summer.

"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. Demo-2, the first crewed test flight, will carry NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on the spacecraft's final flight to certify Crew Dragon for routine operational missions. "I'm, personally, very anxious to hear how Ripley is feeling after they pull her out of the capsule and get her onto the recovery vehicle".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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