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NASA astronauts in SpaceX capsule splash down to earth

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Two NASA astronauts in a SpaceX capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday afternoon, concluding a two-month journey that began as the first manned mission launched from U.S. soil in almost a decade. 

The two astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, splashed down in the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, the first water landing of an American mission since 1975. In its first mission-control transmission to Behnken and Hurley, mission control quipped “Thank you for flying SpaceX,” according to CNN. The astronauts, referencing flight doctors waiting to examine them, responded “Let them know we’re feeling good.”

Two small boats deployed to the splashdown site, with one dragging the craft’s parachutes from the water and the other ensuring there were no toxic fumes around it.

Both President Trump and Vice President Pence commended the astronauts’ return, with Pence saying it was an “honor to witness history” when the rocket departed in May.

“It was an honor and privilege to be part of Expedition 63,” Hurley said in a tweet Saturday. “Now it’s time to finish our DM-2 test flight in order to pave the way for future Dragon crews. Go Endeavour!”

The Endeavour docked at the International Space Station on May 31 after a launch the previous day, the first crewed orbital spaceflight by a private company.

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