Splashdown of Two Astronauts Aboard the Space Crew Dragon

A SpaceX fast boat races toward the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft moments before it splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard. Credit: NASA TV
A SpaceX fast boat races toward the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft moments before it splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard. Credit: NASA TV

Two NASA astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, splashed down safely in the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. EDT. It is the first time a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft has returned from the International Space Station to complete a test flight, beginning a new era in human spaceflight.

NASA is continuing live coverage of the recovery.

Teams on the Go Navigator recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Crew Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safed for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Crew Dragon onto the main deck of Go Navigator with Behnken and Hurley inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to Pensacola to board a plane for Houston.

The duo arrived at the orbiting laboratory on May 31, following a successful launch on May 30 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During their 62 days aboard station, Behnken and Hurley contributed more than 100 hours of time to supporting the orbiting laboratory’s investigations, participated in public engagement events, and supported four spacewalks with Behnken and Cassidy to install new batteries in the station’s power grid and upgrade other station hardware.

These activities are a part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which has been working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil the International Space Station for the first time since 2011. This is SpaceX’s final test flight and is providing data about the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown and recovery operations.

The test flight also will help NASA certify SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission that will occur following NASA certification, which is expected to take about six weeks.

The goal of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, including helping us prepare for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found in the press kit online and by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research

on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

7 thoughts on “Splashdown of Two Astronauts Aboard the Space Crew Dragon”

  1. Congratulations you shining stars – Bob and Doug. I will never forget this moment. I live in New Zealand and have been so excited about this whole mission. We woke in the middle of the night to watch the launch and woke early this morning to watch you splash down. So perfect, so exciting! Glad you are home safe and sound. I can’t imagine what your children must think of their super hero space Dads. Thanks for brightening our days. When I was a child, my Grandmother had a picture of the Apollo 11 astronauts on her wall and I used to stare at it in awe and then one day a few years ago ….. I got tickets to see Discovery launch from Cape Canaveral. I could not believe I was standing there and will never forget that moment, my whole body was shaking – WOW!

  2. Brilliant absolutely brilliant, welcome back to earth, now the work begins to go on to make a space station big enough to include a hotel in space, well I hope Elon Musk and NASA work together more and create jobs for more engineering folks as well, good luck from little ol England.

  3. Have to say, this whole operation has been incredibly well run, faultless (it would appear), perfect timings and the spacecraft performed beautifully… congratulations to all involved.

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