It’s official, SpaceX’s Dragon V2 capsule, the first human-rated commercial spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station, departed early Friday morning and later splashed down into the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 200 miles from Florida’s coast, marking a new era of spaceflight. Ripley, an anthropomorphic test device in a flight suit, was onboard the spacecraft for the maiden voyage, complete with sensors to help better understand what astronauts will experience when they blast off in the capsule. Read more for the splash down footage and additional information.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk also sneaked on a “zero gravity sensory” in an Earth-shaped plush toy, which has been quite popular with the ISS astronauts to say the least have. This toy has remained on the space station while Crew Dragon returned to Earth. Dragon V2 is also the first spacecraft to dock at the ISS’s new international docking adapter, installed in the Harmony module by astronauts back in August 2016.