Tracking the Crew Dragon: Return to Earth

NASA and SpaceX's historic mission is officially a success.

NASA and SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 mission is officially a wrap.

The Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft splashed down off the coast of Florida on August 2 with some very precious cargo on board: NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

Back in May Endeavor had ferried the duo to the International Space Station. That trek was the spacecraft’s first crewed mission, and it earned SpaceX the distinction of being the first private company to send astronauts into space.

It was also the first time since 2011 that NASA astronauts left the Earth from U.S. soil. For the past nine years, NASA has been exploring space by hitching a ride on a Russian rocket launched from Kazakhstan.

But the success of the Crew Dragon mission proves that SpaceX is capable of safely transporting astronauts both to and from the ISS — marking a new era in American space exploration.

You can see photos and video of the Crew Dragon return below — be sure to return to Freethink for details on future NASA missions.

Crew Dragon Endeavour landing in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. NASA / Bill Ingalls
Support teams reaching Crew Dragon Endeavour after splashdown. NASA / Bill Ingalls
Crew Dragon Endeavour being lifted onto SpaceX’s recovery ship after splashdown. NASA / Bill Ingalls
Astronauts Douglas Hurley (left) and Robert Behnken after the Crew Dragon return. NASA / Bill Ingalls

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