NASA Astronauts in SpaceX Capsule Splashdown in Gulf Of Mexico

The first American-crewed spaceship to fly to the International Space Station in a decade, returned back to Earth.

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The first American-crewed spaceship to fly to the International Space Station in almost a decade, returned safely back to Earth on Sunday, 2 August.
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The first American-crewed spaceship to fly to the International Space Station in almost a decade, returned safely back to Earth on Sunday, 2 August.

The spaceship, with its two astronauts, splashed down in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, off Pensacola, Florida, after a two-month long mission. The mission was jointly conducted by NASA and SpaceX.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour's splashdown proved that the United States could, once again, send its astronauts to space and bring them back.

This was the first water landing of such a space ship in the US since the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission.

"It's truly our honour and privilege," said pilot Doug Hurley, who was joined on the mission by commander Bob Behnken, reports AFP.

"On behalf of the NASA and SpaceX teams, welcome back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX,” said SpaceX's Mike Heiman from the control room, as the astronauts were welcomed back.

"We are entering a new era of human spaceflight, where NASA is no longer the purchaser, owner and operator of all the hardware," said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

"This is really just the beginning: we are starting the journey of bringing people regularly to and from low Earth orbit, on to the Moon, and then ultimately on to Mars," added Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX.

US President Donald Trump had travelled down to Florida for the launch of the spaceship two months ago.

"Great to have NASA Astronauts return to Earth after very successful two month mission," he tweeted after the landing.

The US has relied on Russian space machinery to get to space since 2011.

(With inputs from AFP.)

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