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EghtesadOnline: America's new commercial astronaut capsule completed its demonstration flight on Friday with a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean.

The SpaceX Dragon vehicle left the International Space Station (ISS) where it had been docked this past week and re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

It had a heat-shield to protect it from the high temperatures of re-entry.

Four parachutes brought it into soft contact with water about 450km from Cape Canaveral, Florida, according to Financial Tribune.

Splashdown occurred at about 13:45 GMT. A boat, called GO Searcher, was waiting to recover the capsule.

The mission - which had no humans aboard, only a dummy covered in sensors - went according to the script.

The Dragon will set the stage for the US space agency (NASA) to approve the vehicle for crewed flights.

The first of these could occur as soon as July, although no-one should be surprised if this target date slips into the summer as engineers work through the post-flight analysis.

 

Demo SpaceX Earth Dragon Capsule