Crew Dragon Demo 2, the first commercially built and operated US spacecraft, safely landed in clear waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The Crew Dragon, also named Endeavor, undocked from the International Space Station at 4:35 p.m. PT on Saturday. Then, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to earth yesterday near Pensacola, Florida after two months in orbit. It was the first water landing by NASA astronauts since 1975. The two safely exited the spacecraft soon after.
Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, welcomed Behnken and Hurley home in a tweet.
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) August 2, 2020
A video by Live Science shows remarks given at the welcome home ceremony in Huston, Texas. Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, spoke about his relief, what the successful mission means, and what the future holds:
“I do think what this heralds really is fundamentally a new era in spaceflight. We’re going to go to the moon, we’re going to have a base on the moon, we’re going to send people to Mars and make life multiplanetary and I think this day heralds a new age of space exploration. That’s what it’s all about…I think, like, my entire adrenaline just dumped, you know? Like, thank God,” Musk said. “I’m not very religious, but I prayed for this one.”
Elon Musk also points out that there is little good news during a global pandemic, but he hopes that the successful launch brightens someone’s day.
The purpose for the Demo 2 mission was that it was the final test for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to get certified by NASA to be able to conduct regular trips to the ISS. With the successful launch, SpaceX’s plan to travel beyond the ISS and make humanity multiplanetary has been set in motion.