This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
The SpaceX Dragon capsule has successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after spending more than six days in space, the U.S. space agency, NASA, said on March 8.
SpaceX Dragon launched on March 2 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a mission to prove that it could carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).
Dragon docked at the station on March 3 before detaching early on March 8 for its return to Earth.
Live footage from NASA showed the capsule’s four main parachutes opened without a hitch, and it splashed down safely.
The crewless mission has been planned in collaboration with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which aims at ending NASA’s reliance on the Russian space program to shuttle astronauts to the ISS.
The target date for Elon Musk’s company SpaceX to fly NASA astronauts to the ISS is in July.
Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s Roskosmos space agency, praised both Musk and NASA on the successful mission on Twitter.
Rogozin, who is under U.S. and EU sanctions, was supposed to travel to the United States earlier this year at NASA’s invitation, but the U.S. space agency on January 4 cancelled the planned visit following critical press reports and calls by U.S. lawmakers not to allow the blacklisted Russian administrator into the country.