On Saturday, May 30, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launched Crew Dragon’s second demonstration (Demo-2) mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the spacecraft. Dragon autonomously docked to the International Space Station on Sunday, May 31, 2020.
Sixty-three days later, Crew Dragon undocked and departed from the orbiting laboratory, before successfully splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida on Sunday, August 2 at 2:48 p.m. EDT. This test flight marked the return of human spaceflight to the United States and the first-time in history a commercial company successfully took astronauts to orbit and back.
The Demo-2 mission was also the final major test milestone for SpaceX’s human spaceflight system to be certified by NASA for operational crew missions to and from the International Space Station. With the Demo-2 mission now complete, SpaceX and NASA teams are reviewing all the data for certification before NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi fly on Dragon’s first six-month operational mission (Crew-1), targeted for late September.