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08 March 2019, 04:23 | Edward Lowe
ISS Crew Member Earth Continues Work Aboard the Station
The Crew Dragon is the first capsule made by a private company, as opposed to spaceships built by NASA, that is created to carry humans into space and been successfully launched into space.
Crew Dragon will spend a little time in space before re-entering the atmosphere and it is set to splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, not far off the Florida coast, at 1345GMT, a few hours after the undocking process (0731GMT).
"We wish this new asset to human spaceflight fair winds and following seas as it returns to Earth for its splashdown in the Atlantic", Mission Control said.
But like the launch, the docking went off without a hitch, and soon the three astronauts on board the station - NASA's Anne McClain, Oleg Kononenko of Russian Federation, and Canada's David Saint-Jacques - were able to check out the first commercial space vehicle designed for human space flight ever to dock with the station.
"We want to take a moment to recognize this milestone accomplishment that marks the inaugural mission of the commercial crew program", she said.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon is spinning down its orbit after undocking from the International Space Station early Friday. It carried approximately 400 pounds of equipment, food and other supplies the astronauts need in order to continue their work.
Officials at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration will scrutinize the performance of the SpaceX capsule's parachute deployment and its buoyancy after splash-down - two of the design and functionality concerns first reported by Reuters in February.
In 2014, Nasa awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing a combined $6.8bn to build competing spacecraft to carry astronauts into orbit from the United States.
Additional issues may turn up as a result of Demo-1's post-flight assessment, or during an upcoming test of the Crew Dragon's in-flight abort system. NASA hoped their spacecrafts would start flying in 2017. The company plans to send astronauts onboard the Crew Dragon as early as this summer.
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