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SpaceX Returns NASA Astronauts to Earth

After a two-month trip to International Space Station, the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to Earth on August 2, 2020 off the coast of Pensacola, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. It will mark the first water landing since 1975, when the NASA astronauts on the joint Apollo-Soyuz test mission returned home. 

"Welcome back to planet Earth," SpaceX's mission control radioed the two astronauts aboard the capsule, which is named Endeavour. "Thanks for flying SpaceX."

"It was truly our honor and privilege," Hurley radioed back. Just hours earlier, while still in space, Hurley said the experience is one he won't soon forget.

"It's hard to put into words just what it was like to be a part of this expedition — Expedition 63," Hurley said during a farewell ceremony aboard the space station on Saturday (Aug. 1), the day Endeavour undocked and began its journey home. "It'll be kind of a memory that will last a lifetime for me."

The SpaceX recovery ship GO Navigator met Endeavour and hoisted the capsule aboard shortly after splashdown. After a series of checkouts, recovery teams opened Endeavour's hatch at 3:59 p.m. EDT (1959 GMT) and extracted the two astronauts about 10 minutes later. Medical personnel can now begin assessing Behknen and Hurley, making sure the two astronauts are in good shape after their journey home from orbit.

Watch the video of the Crew Dragon undocking from the space station.

Watch the video of NASA and SpaceX discussing the astronauts return to Earth.