Source - ASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken returned to Earth after a 63-day voyage aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft on Sunday. Their successful landing into waters near the coast of Pensacola, Florida, marked the first splashdown in almost 50 years. NASA's last water landing closed out the Apollo-Soyuz outer space mission in July 1975.
The Crew Dragon's return, broadcast live by NASA Television, finished Hurley and Behnken's two-month trip to orbit took the astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on a test flight operated by SpaceX. The aerospace manufacturer and transportation services company, founded by Elon Musk, designed the reusable spacecraft as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.
It is the first private company to successfully launch and recover a spacecraft in partnership with NASA, which also established a contract with Boeing for the same purpose.
USA! USA! USA! I'm not sure if the water landing of a rocket designed by a South African native's private company is worthy of a chant, but it feels right. To be honest I never really understood the point of space travel. I get why they did it back in the day when it was a dick measuring contest but now? Who cares? The only thing that seems to come of it are cool videos of Astronauts playing with liquid...
That said, NASA is still hellbent on launching people into space...
"The [International Space Station] is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight," NASA said in a statement about its Commercial Crew initiative. "As commercial companies focus on providing human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA is freed up to focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions."
No skin off my back, I just think it's weird. The good news is, it seems like both sides of the aisle are for it so at least there's that. Who knew a space launch would be the thing to bring the nation together. Oh well, USA! USA! USA!