The almost week-long journey culminated when the spacecraft disembarked from the station about 2:30 a.m. Friday, fired its engine to slow down, and barreled through the thickening atmosphere on its fiery return to Earth until finally splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean at 8:45 a.m.
When operational, the craft is expected to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.
The capsule, which launched last Saturday, parachuted down into the Atlantic Ocean near Port Canaveral around 8:45 a.m. "There'll be a Russian on our flights, and we'll still have an American on a Soyuz flight". "It won't be long before our astronaut colleagues are aboard Crew Dragon and Boeing's Starliner vehicles, and we can't wait". Stich said that flight should take place in the June time-frame using the same capsule that just splashed down.
Since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has been unable to fly its astronauts.
The full video of the Crew Dragon's trip home is already available online along with commentary from NASA and SpaceX officials. Called Demo-2, that flight will be a 14 day mission to the ISS. NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel has stressed that they don't want NASA to be in a position where their lack of access to the ISS is driving their evaluation of whether SpaceX and Boeing are fit to safely fly astronauts.
The capsule carried to the ISS a test dummy Ripley, named after the heroine from the "Alien" movies, which was outfitted with sensors to provide data about potential effects on future astronauts who will travel in the Crew Dragon.
Still, he added "hypersonic reentry is probably my biggest concern".
Unlike past programs that NASA controlled from top to bottom, the new spacecraft were intended from the start to be commercially developed, giving the winning companies ownership and much more control over the finished product along with the freedom to sell seats to non-NASA customers.
The undocking process was broadcast online by the United States space agency.
After the program was retired, the U.S. government, under then president Barack Obama, turned toward SpaceX and Boeing to develop a new way to ferry its crews, paying the firms for their services.
To end its reliance on Russian Federation - a situation that many in the spaceflight community considered an embarrassment - NASA in 2014 awarded SpaceX and Boeing a combined $6.8-billion contract to build a pair of spacecraft to fill that gap.