SpaceX’s Dragon crew returns from ISS to make a historic splash down

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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SpaceX Departure from ISS
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule separates from the International Space Station. | Image Courtesy: NASA Youtube

NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken who were the first astronauts who were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company in June have now departed the space station as they have come to the completion of the 2-month mission. 

The astronauts will return to earth by making a splashdown, a technique that was prominent in the 1980s which was later replaced by return vehicles which are similar to airplanes and land on airports.

“It’s been a great two months, and we appreciate all you’ve done as a crew to help us prove out Dragon on its maiden flight,” Astronaut Hurley radioed to the space station. “Safe travels,” Cassidy replied, “and have a successful landing.”

After launching Astronauts Hurley and Behnken from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on May 30, Tesla owner’s SpaceX became the first private company to send people into orbit. Now SpaceX is expected to become the first company to bring people back from orbit.

SpaceX has easily beaten his other competition Boeing, which isn’t expected to launch its first crew until next year and will land in the U.S. Southwest. For the past nine years, US astronauts have traveled exclusively on Russian Soyuz rockets which cost the US a price tag of around $80 million per seat.