(ANSA) - WASHINGTON, SEPTEMBER 18 - SpaceX's first four space tourists landed last night in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida after spending three days in space, successfully completing the first orbital mission in history without professional astronauts on board.
The ditching took place on time, shortly after 7 pm local time, according to a video broadcast by Elon Musk's company.
Four large parachutes slowed the descent of the Dragon capsule, quickly recovered from a SpaceX ship. Passengers will then be transported by helicopter to the Kennedy Space Center, from where they took off aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Wednesday evening.
The stated goal of the mission, called Inspiration4, was to mark a breakthrough in the democratization of space by demonstrating that the cosmos is accessible even to crews who have not been selected and trained for years.
The four novices - billionaire Jared Isaacman, who chartered the mission, and three other Americans - spent three days in Earth orbit, traveling beyond the International Space Station (ISS), up to 590 km of altitude. Circling in orbit at around 28,000 km per hour, they have traveled the world more than 15 times a day.
It is the third time that Elon Musk's company, which has become a giant in the sector in a few years, brings man back to Earth: during the previous missions on behalf of NASA, seiastronauts had already experienced a ditching aboard the same shuttle, in their case. after a stay on the Iss.