The SpaceX Dragon capsule left for the International Space Station (ISS) last week, docked for close to a week at the ISS and has returned to earth today.
Four parachutes opened up to bring it to "soft contact" with water 450 kilometers from Cape Canaveral, Florida. A boat called GO Search was waiting to recover the capsule.
The capsule last week carried no humans, just a dummy covered in sensors called Ripley.
Successful splashdown of the #CrewDragon right on time at 8:45 a.m. ET. pic.twitter.com/0qHhHzD4Js
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) March 8, 2019
This sets the tone for NASA to approve SpaceX to carry humans to and fro from earth to the ISS.
Engineers will now work their head through post flight analysis. Once this is completed, the SpaceX capsule Dragon could carry conduct crewed flights.
There was some kind of anxiety as to how the capsule would react to when it comes in contact with earth. The heat shield had an irregular shape that could have led to a roll instability at hypersonic speeds.
For the past eight years, Russian space agency was conducting shuttles to the ISS.
NASA hopes to end the eight year gap with the introduction of commercial transportation systems like SpaceX and Boeing.
Boeing will conduct a capsule test much similar to SpaceX in April this year, their capsule is called Starliner.
Nasa has already selected its first astronauts to fly aboard a crewed Dragon. Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been busy training with the SpaceX team, learning all about the capsule's operation and what to do if there is an emergency.