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SpaceX Dragon Crew safely returns to Earth
After over two months, the crew of the SpaceX Dragon will have to walk to get dinner instead of float.
Back on May 30, Dragon launched from the historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. Hours later, it successfully docked with the International Space Station with crew members Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
This monumental mission was a first for Dragon, as it was the first to carry passengers instead of just cargo. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, the idea of SpaceX was to lower the cost of space travel. Dragon is also the first U.S. manned space mission in almost a decade.
After leaving the ISS at 7:34 p.m. on August 1, the plan was for a splashdown into the Gulf of Mexico.
The splashdown of Dragon wasn't like your normal airplane landing. Reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere created temperatures as high as 3500 degrees. It also caused a communication blackout for a duration of six minutes. As it plummeted to Earth, the shuttle reached a terminal velocity of close to 350,000 miles an hour. Once parachutes deployed successfully, its splashdown speed slowed to roughly 15 miles an hour.
With perfect conditions, Dragon achieved splashdown at 2:48 ET.
You can watch a stream of the entire splashdown process via C-SPAN down below.