Everything You Need To Know About Crew Dragon Demo-2 Return To Earth

SpaceX's Crew Dragon returned to Earth safely on Sunday, August 2, 2020. The spacecraft with two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, took off for the International Space Station May 30. They spent 63 days there, testing the SpaceX's capsule's feature. Demo-2 stands for demonstration flight, it means that at this stage Crew Dragon is still at trial stage.

The Demo-2 mission ended with the first NASA splashdown in 45 years. It was also the first time a crewed spacecraft ever landed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Demo-2 rebooted the U.S.'s desire to send its own astronauts to space for the first time in almost a decade. NASA previously paid Russia's Roscosmos $86 million per person to launch astronauts to ISS. The agency now pays SpaceX $55 million per seat in the next operational flights.

The mission also marked the first time a private company sent people into orbit. It starts an era of space transportation held by private companies. It allows NASA to focus more on other strategic missions.

NASA awarded SpaceX $3.1 billion to develop the Crew Dragon capsule and launch six operational missions. The space agency will spend the next six weeks reviewing data from Demo-2. If SpaceX gets the green light, it will start the operational mission codenamed Crew-1 planned for late September launch.

Source: CNBC Television

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