Roscosmos Chief, Elon Musk Exchange Courtesies After SpaceX Capsule Landing

The Crew Dragon landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday morning with a splashdown at 8:45 a.m. ET as scheduled. The uncrewed craft had been on a test flight in which it docked with the International Space Station

The flight is a milestone for Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as they attempt to end USA dependence on Russian Federation for astronaut shuttles to the space station. SpaceX's unmanned Crew Dragon capsule landed off the coast Florida after a trip to the International Space Station. Certainly, this triumphant moment capped an emotional week for a company that has worked for the better part of a decade to develop a crewed spacecraft.

On Saturday, March 2, at 2:49 a.m. EST, one of the company's Falcon 9 rockets lit up the pre-dawn sky, lofting a Crew Dragon spacecraft created to carry humans-but carrying only a stuffed globe and a manikin named Ripley outfitted with a space suit and suite of sensors-to the International Space Station (ISS). American astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques carried out air quality tests and inspections inside the capsule. The capsule also brought back 330 pounds of experiment results from the ISS.

Yesterday, astronauts at the ISS closed the Crew Dragon's hatch and prepared it for its journey back to Earth.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for DM-1 in the hangar about a month before launch. Eastern within sight of SpaceX recovery ships. After a half-hour freefall, the spacecraft slammed into the top of the thick lower atmosphere at a velocity of almost five miles per second.

The space station's three-member crew greeted Crew Dragon upon its arrival. In recent years, NASA and SpaceX have conducted 18 airplane drop tests of dummy Dragons with functioning chutes, and grew increasingly convinced of the system's reliability.

"Will the parachutes deploy correctly?" Stich said that flight should take place in the June time-frame using the same capsule that just splashed down.

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- Around 7:45 a.m. ET: Crew Dragon separates from its trunk, "whose exterior contains a solar array that provided power to Dragon and a radiator to reject heat", NASA says.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean on March 8, 2019.

"I think it's unlikely", SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said on March 2, in the hours before the Crew Dragon's launch. Before that, NASA and SpaceX will also run an abort test with the craft's "Super Draco" thrusters.

Indeed, the Demo-1 mission-an important test of NASA's revamped commercial crew programme-went exactly as planned, signifying an important milestone for the United States as it strives to regain its ability to independently send astronauts into space-something it hasn't been able to do since the days of the Space Shuttle Programme.

Both systems must give NASA two independent means - and at a lower cost than that of the Space Shuttle Program - to access the ISS by 2020.

The nearly-week long journey culminated when the spacecraft disembarked from the station about 2.30am Friday, fired its engine to slow down, and barrelled through the thickening atmosphere on its fiery return to Earth. When the spacecraft undocked from the space station earlier in the day, it was still a clear white.


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