Tracking the Crew Dragon: Return to Earth

NASA and SpaceX's historic mission is officially a success.
Sign up for the Freethink Weekly newsletter!
A collection of our favorite stories straight to your inbox

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.

We’d love to hear from you! If you have a comment about this article or if you have a tip for a future Freethink story, please email us at [email protected].

Related
T-Minus: SpaceX’s Starship vs. Boeing’s Starliner
A breakdown of SpaceX’s Starship, Boeing’s Starliner, and what they mean for the future of space exploration at NASA.
T-Minus: How will solar storms affect Mars astronauts?
Freethink’s breakdown of the biggest space news, featuring NASA’s efforts to protect astronauts from intense solar storms.
T-Minus: How to not die on (the way to) Mars
A breakdown of the five biggest threats to future Mars astronauts and what NASA scientists are doing to overcome each one.
Life on Mars, together
Researchers spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station conducting an analog mission for potential future trips to Mars.
NASA hopes private space companies can rescue its $11 billion Mars rock mission
If this ambitious NASA mission unraveled, scientists would lose their chance to learn much more about the red planet.
Up Next
Mars 2020 Rover
Subscribe to Freethink for more great stories