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article imageSpaceX's Crew Dragon splashes down off Florida coast

By Karen Graham     Mar 8, 2019 in Technology
SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean Friday morning after a six-day stay on the International Space Station - completing its Demonstration Mission 1 (DM-10 mission successfully.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has successfully completed the first-of-its-kind mission, ahead of a crewed test flight slated for June. Crew Dragon departed from the ISS about 2:30 a.m EST (0730 GMT) on Friday and sped back to earth reaching hypersonic speeds before an 8:45 a.m. EST (1345 GMT) splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 miles off the coast of Florida.
The final burn, as the capsule entered Earth's atmosphere, lasted about 15 minutes, slowing the speed down so that the capsule could make a gradual descent. Two drogue parachutes were initially deployed to help brake the capsule's speed.
A beautiful plume of four additional main parachutes slowed the capsule further as it drifted through the air to its splashdown in the Atlantic at close to 8:45 a.m. The recovery ship, Go Searcher, waited at sea to use a large crane to haul the capsule out of the water.
Go Searcher is also equipped with medical quarters and a helipad so that when crewed flights are started, they will be prepared for any emergencies.
“It’s a great day for the nation, for SpaceX, for NASA, for all of us,” said Benji Reed, SpaceX’s Director of Crew Mission Management, after splashdown.
“Not only did she fly and go to the space station and do everything she was supposed to do, but we got her home safe and sound.”
The 16-foot space capsule was launched from Kennedy Space Center last Saturday. On board was 400 pounds of supplies and test equipment, a space-suited dummy named Ripley, outfitted with sensors to record everything a real person would experience during the flight, and a super "zero-g indicator," a plush toy Earth.
More about Spacex, Crew Dragon, Demonstration Mission 1, International Space Station, splash down
 
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