SpaceX crew capsule departs station for Atlantic splashdown

NASA is counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start launching astronauts this year.

8 March 2019 | 10:42

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 8 March 2019 | 10:42

Space X's Falcon 9 rocket shown lifting off from Cape Canaveral on June 28, 2015 with a Dragon CRS7 spacecraft. (AFP Photo)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.: SpaceX’s swanky new crew capsule has undocked from the International Space Station and is headed toward an old-fashioned splashdown.

The Dragon capsule pulled away from the orbiting lab early Friday, a test dummy named Ripley its lone occupant. It’s aiming for a morning splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida’s coast, the final hurdle of the six-day test flight. Saturday’s launch and Sunday’s docking were spot on.

Canadian station astronaut David Saint-Jacques was the first to enter the Dragon when it arrived and the last to leave. He found the capsule “very slick” and called it business class.

NASA astronauts have been stuck riding Russian rockets since space shuttles retired eight years ago. NASA is counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start launching astronauts this year. SpaceX is shooting for summer.

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