As planned and without problems, the capsule landed on the sea surface with the help of a parachute at 14:48 (18:48 GMT) at a point in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, on the northwest coast of Florida.
SpaceX’s Navigator ship was only about three nautical miles from the site to take charge of retrieving the ship, which will be placed on its deck.
The two astronauts, who are “fine,” an NAA spokeswoman said during the live broadcast of the end of the Demo-2 mission, will undergo medical checkups before traveling by air to Houston, Texas.
This ended the historic Demo-2 mission, which began in late May in Cape Canaveral (Florida) and which will certify the ability of SpaceX, Elon Musk’s company, to carry out commercial space travel.
Behnken and Hurley’s journey was the first from US soil and on a commercial ship to the ISS since NASA’s 2011 shuttle program ended.
Before entering the Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft separated from the cargo structure, which would later disintegrate, and its weight was thus reduced to 21,200 pounds (about 9,600 kilos).
He then maneuvered himself out of orbit, and once in Earth’s atmosphere a first batch of two parachutes and then one of four was activated to guide the craft to its chosen landing site and then facilitate a smooth drop.
In addition to Pensacola there were six other alternative sites for the crash of the ship.
The east coast of Florida was ruled out due to the passage of tropical storm Isaías.
The ship had automatically disengaged from the ISS at 2335 GMT on Saturday to begin the return journey.
Behnken and Hurley, who slept eight of the 19 hours it takes to return to Earth from the ISS, were awakened this morning from the mission’s control center with an audio recording of their children, according to a statement from the POT.
In total, they spent 62 days on board the ISS, during which they circled Earth 1,024, spent 114 hours in research, and watched various space vehicles arrive and depart from the space station, NASA reported.
Behnken participated in four spacewalks with another NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy, who was on the ISS when they arrived.
If the outward journey was historic, the return as well, as this was the first time in 45 years that people could contemplate the landing of a spaceship.
The last time was on July 21, 1975, when the crew of an Apollo-Soyuz mission fell into the Pacific Ocean, near Hawaii.
In 2014 NASA awarded Boeing and SpaceX contracts totaling $ 6.8 billion to develop the commercial space transportation program and stop depending on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that has orbited the US agency’s astronauts since it was canceled. its ferry program in 2011.