The capsule survived intact. The last time a crew-capable spaceship splashed down in the Atlantic was 50 years ago, at the end of NASA’s Apollo 9 mission. “This is an amazing achievement in the history of the United States of America, and it just really exemplifies what we can achieve when we maintain that constancy of purpose,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. The Crew Dragon went through all the steps that will have to be executed when astronauts climb aboard the next spaceship, as early as this July.
Some issues still need to be resolved before that crewed mission. Some tweaks may need to be made to the thruster system, and the parachute system still has to be fully certified for crewed flights. Boeing is scheduled to send an uncrewed Starliner to the space station as early as next month, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.