CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — SpaceX’s new crew capsule has returned to Earth, ending its first test flight with an old-fashioned splashdown.
Crew Dragon’s mission to the International Space Station had already history making. When the bullet-shaped capsule docked with the ISS it marked the first time in eight years that an American-made spacecraft capable of carrying humans had flown to the space station.
For the return mission, the Dragon undocked from the ISS early Friday. Six hours later, the capsule carrying a test dummy dropped into the Atlantic off the Florida coast.
It marks the first time in 50 years that a capsule designed for astronauts returned from space by landing in the ocean. Apollo 9 splashed down near the Bahamas on March 13, 1969.
NASA astronauts have been stuck riding Russian rockets since space shuttles retired eight years ago. NASA is counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start launching astronauts this year.
Friday morning’s splashdown was the final hurdle of SpaceX’s six-day test flight.
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