That's a wrap: SpaceX officially concludes its demo mission.

SpaceX brings astronauts home safely and clears the way for the company to regularly launch astronauts for NASA. This landing it’s just the beginning.

The Crew Dragon capsule returning to Earth.NASA/Flickr

On Sunday, August 2 2020, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley safely landed, or actually, splashed, off the Florida coast after a two-month stayon the International Space Station. The space explorers made back in May as they became the first NASA astronauts to join a mission, the SpaceX Demo-2 mission, entirely organised, financed and managed by Elon Musk’s private company Tesla.

Behnken and Hurley landed parachuted in the Atlantic Ocean near Pensacola, Florida, and sheltered in the capsule until they were pulled from the water by Go Navigator, a ship operated by SpaceX. This marked another break to the “space exploration routine” as it was the first water landing by an American space craft crew since 1975.

“We are entering a new era of human spaceflight, where NASA is no longer the purchaser, owner and operator of all the hardware”Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, said during a news conference after the splashdown.“We are going to be a customer, one customer of many customers in a very robust commercial marketplace for human spaceflight to low Earth orbit.”

But SpaceX isn’t the only company that will be giving astronauts a lift to the International Space Station in the future as NASA has hired two companies, SpaceX and Boeing, but the latter has faced a number of setbacks.

Boeing too, is working on a capsule for NASA’s commercial crew programhowever, late last year, an uncrewed test flight to the ISS was aborted by mission control after a software issue. Although the capsule returned to Earth unscathed, the company plans to conduct another uncrewed flight demo before it does a test with humans on board.


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