Whenever there’s a return, it’ll mark the successful completion of the first round trip of a private crewed space capsule. While this kind of mission won’t be routine for a long time, it represents an important moment in the shift away from strictly government-run spaceflight. The next major step may involve flights with civilians.
Behnken and Hurley also weren’t just on the station for show. They both conducted and assisted with numerous experiments, such as Earth observation studies and research into water droplets in microgravity. On that front, Crew Dragon’s mission may have been as helpful to science as it was to SpaceX’s long-term future.
“Now as Doug mentioned, we’re about to embark on the final portion of the journey… The hardest part was getting us launched, but the most important part is bringing us home.” – @AstroBehnken on the #LaunchAmerica crew’s return to Earth aboard the @SpaceX Dragon Endeavour pic.twitter.com/tEeL05gXWe
— NASA (@NASA) August 1, 2020