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In pictures: Nasa astronauts cap historic ‘odyssey’ aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule

It was Nasa’s first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.
Published 03 Aug, 2020 11:40am

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was Nasa’s first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

Behnken and Hurley, tallying 64 days in space, undocked from the station on Saturday and returned home to land their capsule in calm waters off Florida’s Pensacola coast on schedule at 2:48pm ET following a 21-hour overnight journey aboard Crew Dragon “Endeavour”.

“This has been quite an odyssey,” Hurley told senior Nasa and SpaceX officials at a homecoming ceremony at Nasa’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. “To be where we are now, the first crewed flight of Dragon, is just unbelievable.”

The successful splash-down, the first of its kind by Nasa in 45 years, was a final test of whether SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk’s spacecraft can transport astronauts to and from orbit — a feat no private company has accomplished before.

The SpaceX capsule splashes down on Sunday, Aug 2, 2020, in the Gulf of Mexico. — AP
The SpaceX capsule splashes down on Sunday, Aug 2, 2020, in the Gulf of Mexico. — AP

Support teams and curious recreational boaters arrive at the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft shortly after it landed with Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board in the Gulf of Mexico. — AP
Support teams and curious recreational boaters arrive at the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft shortly after it landed with Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley on board in the Gulf of Mexico. — AP

A capsule with Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley is lifted out of water in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. — Reuters
A capsule with Nasa astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley is lifted out of water in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. — Reuters

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is lifted onto the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after it landed. — AP
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft is lifted onto the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after it landed. — AP

In this image from video made available by Nasa, astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Bob Behnken prepare for undocking from the International Space Station, aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Saturday. — AP
In this image from video made available by Nasa, astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Bob Behnken prepare for undocking from the International Space Station, aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on Saturday. — AP

Nasa astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken prepare to depart their helicopter at Naval Air Station Pensacola after the duo landed. — AP
Nasa astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken prepare to depart their helicopter at Naval Air Station Pensacola after the duo landed. — AP

In this May 30, 2020 file photo, Nasa astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. — AP
In this May 30, 2020 file photo, Nasa astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. — AP


Header Photo: Nasa astronaut Robert Behnken gives a thumbs up to onlookers as he boards a plane at Naval Air Station Pensacola to return him and Nasa astronaut Douglas Hurley home to Houston a few hours after the duo landed in their SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. — AP