April 2nd, 2019 (last updated)
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning after a short-term stay on the International Space Station, capping the first orbital test mission in NASA’s long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from U.S. soil later this year.
After a six-day mission on the orbital outpost, Crew Dragon autonomously detached about 2:30 a.m EST (0730 GMT) on Friday and sped back to earth reaching hypersonic speeds before an 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 GMT) splash-down in the Atlantic, about 200 miles off the Florida coast.
A SpaceX rocket launched the 16-foot-tall capsule from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida last Saturday.
Minutes before splash-down, Crew Dragon deployed its four parachutes, easing some concerns about functionality that both NASA and SpaceX had before the landing.