NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who were launched to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Crew Dragon capsule Endeavour for a near 64 day say have successfully returned to Earth via a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, just south of Pensacola, Florida on 2 August 2020.

Crew Dragon splashes down on Demo 2 flight. Courtesy: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Crew Dragon Dragon started the final part of its Demo 2 (DM-2) flight by undocking from IDA-2 docking port of the ISS at 2335 GMT on 1 August. It then made a burn to lower the orbital perigee at 0549 GMT on 2 August.  The capsule’s storage trunk section was jettisoned at 1752 GMT before starting its deorbit burn at 1756 GMT.  With its nosecone now shut, its re-entry began at 1836 GMT.  With its four main parachutes deployed the Crew Dragon capsule splashed down at 1847 GMT.  Thirty minutes later capsule, with its crew still aboard, was retrieved by the SpaceX ship Go Navigator at 1917 GMT.

Haul aboard! Crew Dragon “Endeavour” is recovered from the ocean with its astronaut crew inside. Courtesy: NASA/Bill Ingalls

After the safe delivery of the crew on what was a commercial flight, NASA and Space X received congratulations from around the world   Amusingly, given its almost commercial airline nature, after the splashdown SpaceX mission controllers thanked the crew for flying with them.

(All times from Jonathan McDowell who points out that this was the human splashdown since Soyuz-23 on 16 October 1976. The last NASA crewed splashdown was the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975).