Super splashdown

Super splashdown

4:36 am Sunday (IST) Touchdown at Florida

First all-civilian orbital crew returns safely

  • Four space tourists safely ended their trailblazing trip to orbit on Saturday with a splashdown in the Atlantic off Florida
  • Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the ocean just before sunset, not far from where their chartered flight began 3-days earlier
  • The Inspiration4 team blasted off on Wednesday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral atop one of SpaceX’s two-stage reusable Falcon 9 rockets
  • The all-amateur crew was the first to circle the world without a professional astronaut

Highest orbit since Apollo

  • Within three hours of takeoff, the crew capsule had reached a cruising orbital altitude of 585 km, which is higher than the International Space Station or Hubble Space Telescope
  • It is the farthest any human has flown from Earth since NASA's Apollo moon programme ended in 1972

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