Watch SpaceX live on Inspiration4 splashdown: Crew Dragon returns

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SpaceX safely returned its Crew Dragon spacecraft from orbit on Saturday, the capsule carrying the four members of the Inspiration4 mission to Earth after three days in space.

The Crew Dragon Resilience capsule splashed off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Thanks a lot SpaceX, it was a hell of a ride for us and we’re just getting started!” Inspiration4 Commander Jared Isaacman said from the capsule after landing.

Elon Musk tweeted his congratulations to the crew shortly after the landing.

The historic private mission which includes Isaacman, pilot Sian Proctor, medical officer Hayley Arceneaux and mission specialist Chris Sembroski orbiting Earth at an altitude of up to 590 kilometers, which is above the International Space Station and most distant humans have traveled above the surface for years. In free-flight space flight, the capsule did not dock with the ISS but instead circled the Earth independently at a speed of 15 orbits per day.

Inspiration4 shared photos of the crew’s time in orbit, giving a glimpse of the stunning views from the spacecraft’s “dome” window.

This is the third time SpaceX has returned astronauts from space, and the second time for this capsule – which previously flew the Crew-1 mission for NASA on a trip that returned in May.

The two previous SpaceX astronaut missions have landed in the Gulf of Mexico, making it the first to return to the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft crashes into the Gulf of Mexico with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard on August 2, 2020.

NASA television

The mission also comes with several other milestones for Musk’s company, including: SpaceX’s first private space flight, the first entirely unprofessional crew to become an astronaut, the first black female spacecraft pilot, the youngest astronaut American to date and the first person to fly. space with a prosthesis.

Inspiration4 was paid for by Isaacman for an undisclosed amount, with the primary purpose of the space flight being to raise $ 200 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Isaacman, a billionaire entrepreneur, made a personal donation of $ 100 million, with the mission raising an additional $ 53.8 million in donations on Saturday night, according to the mission’s website.

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