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Historic SpaceX Crew Dragon splashdown with NASA astronauts after 45 years

The SpaceX capsule splashes down Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in the Gulf of Mexico. Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spent a little over two months on the International Space Station. It s the first splashdown in 45 years for NASA astronauts and the first time a private company has ferried people from orbit. (Cory Huston/ NASA via AP)
The SpaceX capsule splashes down Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in the Gulf of Mexico. Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken spent a little over two months on the International Space Station. It s the first splashdown in 45 years for NASA astronauts and the first time a private company has ferried people from orbit. (Cory Huston/ NASA via AP)(Cory Huston | AP)
Published: Aug. 2, 2020 at 2:17 PM CDT
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Two NASA astronauts have returned to Earth in a dramatic, retro-style splashdown carried out by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

The capsule carrying Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken parachuted into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Sunday afternoon.

It is the first splashdown in 45 years for NASA astronauts and also the first time a private company has brought people back from orbit.

Their return clears the way for another SpaceX crew flight as early as next month.

The astronauts’ homecoming comes a day after they departed the International Space Station and two months after they blasted off on the historic mission.

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