SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Bouglas Hurley has taken off from the International Space Station and is now on its way to the Earth. The Dragon separated successfully in the wee hours of Sunday (IST).
“Dragon departing.” The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour undocked and separated from the Space Station. Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley are on their way home to planet Earth,” NASA said in a tweet.
Along with the tweet NASA posted a video of the capsule detaching itself from the ISS.
This will be the most important part of their test flight — returning to Earth with a rare splashdown.
It will be the first splashdown for astronauts in 45 years. The last time was following the joint U.S.-Soviet mission in 1975 known as Apollo-Soyuz.
Space station commander Chris Cassidy rang the ship's bell as Dragon pulled away, 267 miles (430 kilometers) above Johannesburg, South Africa. Within a few minutes, all that could be seen of the capsule was a pair of flashing lights against the black void of space.
"It's been a great two months, and we appreciate all you've done as a crew to help us prove out Dragon on its maiden flight,” Hurley radioed to the space station.
“Safe travels," Cassidy replied, “and have a successful landing."