UNITED STATES—Two astronauts successfully completed a historic space travel mission and landed into the waters of Florida on Sunday, August 2. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were aboard the space station since May 31, after SpaceX’s historic launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
They orbited the International Space Station in a capsule built and launched by Hawthorne-based SpaceX. SpaceX is a private company owned by Elon Musk and works in collaboration with NASA.
Both NASA and SpaceX are responsible for the success of the space travel mission. Hurley and Behnken’s traveled in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft named Endeavour and it is technically a demonstration flight for NASA.
The mission marks the first time astronauts have launched from American soil since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011. This will test the capabilities of the ship and NASA as it collaborates with private companies to make progress in space travel.
On Saturday,, August 1, Johnson Space Center announced that the astronauts were headed home after spending 62 days on board the spacecraft, orbiting the Earth 1024 times and conducting extensive research.
NASA was nervous about the return day and time because of the uncertain weather which is crucial to space travelling.
Good weather and support from of the ground crew, assisted the astronauts in making a safe landing after they splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
Both Hurley and Behnken will now move to a medical area on the recovery ship for initial medical checks before they are fly to Ellington Field in Houston. Space X is already preparing for its next space travel mission.
After the success of Hurley and Behnken’s demonstration mission, the company is moving ahead with Crew Dragon’s first “operational mission.”
The mission will launch four astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi into the space station, as soon as late September.