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NASA Astronauts Return With Splash Landing At Sea After Historic Space Mission
By Thanussha Priyah, 03 Aug 2020
Image via NASA/Bill Ingalls
NASA Astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley splashed down into the coast of Florida in SpaceX Crew spacecraft on Sunday, ending their historic two-month mission to the International Space Station.
The spacecraft flew through Earth’s atmosphere and deployed parachutes to safely land into the Gulf of Mexico. This was the first time for a crewed spaceflight to launch from the US since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. It was also the first time a commercially-developed spacecraft transported astronauts to space and back.
The two astronauts finally greeted their families at Houston, Texas and later, sat down for a media event streamed via NASA TV. “We’re not gonna stand right now,” Hurley told the audience at a landing strip close to the Johnson Space Center.
“For those of you who have done this before,” he said, referring to the strenuous trip to Earth, “You know, it’s not pleasant standing for a few hours after you get back.”
Behnken thanked the leaders at NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, as well as SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who waited for their arrival at Houston.
Musk, visibly moved by the mission, said, “This is the result of an incredible, incredible amount of work from people at SpaceX [and] people at NASA.”
Watch the highlights from the event and the full mission below.
[via CNN, cover image via NASA/Bill Ingalls]
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