ORLANDO, Fla. — America’s quest to once again fly humans to space and bring them back again was realized Sunday with a cannonball splash into the Gulf of Mexico.
It’s taken six years to forge and test SpaceX and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, and on Sunday at 2:48 p.m., Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley splashed down off the coast of Pensacola in the Gulf of Mexico. Their return to Earth comes after 63 days aboard the International Space Station.
“Welcome back to planet Earth, and thanks for flying SpaceX,” said Mike Heiman, crew operations and resources engineer for SpaceX.
The veteran astronauts will soon emerge from the Crew Dragon capsule, the first private spacecraft built to launch humans and the first that’s lifted off from U.S. soil since the space shuttle program ended in 2011. And in that moment, the United States will have solidified its position in the modern-day