Completing the test mission on Friday brought SpaceX's Crew Dragon one step closer to flying humans - and ending the United States' years-long reliance on Russian Federation to fly astronauts to and from the ISS.
After hours of suspense, the Crew Dragon touched down in the Atlantic Ocean at 8.45am some 370km off the coast of the U.S. state of Florida.
After the programme was retired, the United States government, under then president Barack Obama, turned toward SpaceX and Boeing to develop a new way to ferry its crews, paying the firms for their transport services. Demo-2 will be the first crewed test flight aboard the Crew Dragon.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule successfully splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean carrying a dummy named "Ripley". The Crew Dragon was retrieved shortly after splashdown approximately 230 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, by SpaceX's recovery ship, Go Searcher.
The mission has so far gone smoothly.
The space station's three-member crew greeted the capsule last Sunday, with USA astronaut Anne McClain and Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques entering Crew Dragon's cabin to carry out air quality tests and inspections. He said such progress was "leading to a day where we are launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil".
Whoa! Jussie Smollett Charged With 16 Felony Counts By Grand Jury
The Cook County grand jury has chosen to indict Jussie on 16 counts (!) for "false report of offense" - all class 4 felonies. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the actor initially faked a letter using racist and homophobic language.
Does Michael Bennett trade push Trey Flowers out of New England?
Before retiring, Martellus played in 18 regular season games with the Patriots over his final two years in the league (2016-17). The 31-year-old, who turns 32 on March 10, actually played a key role in the Patriots' Super Bowl LI victory over the Falcons .
Conflicting reports surround fate of baby of UK IS bride
After the Bangladeshi government claimed she was not a Bangladeshi citizen, she said she had no desire to go to the country. Tasnime Akunjee said in a statement: "We have strong but as yet unconfirmed reports that Shamima Begums son has died".
The Dragon capsule that flew this week is not the final version that will fly in future tests, but it is close.
To say that the Crew Dragon did well would be a huge understatement.
Over the last six days, among other milestones, SpaceX had to demonstrate the safe fueling of the Falcon 9 rocket, its launch, Dragon's separation and power performance in orbit, autonomous docking to the space station, undocking, a de-orbit burn, a controlled descent through Earth's atmosphere, and finally the deployment of four main parachutes on the way to a soft touchdown.
The Crew Dragon never loses its built-in escape rockets, which eliminates that danger and simplifies the system overall. Now it's clear that SpaceX is comfortably in the lead, and NASA expects manned missions using Crew Dragon to commence sooner rather than later. SpaceX - which has been delivering station cargo for years - is shooting for summer.
Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX.
Last Sunday, Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques was the first to enter the Dragon when it arrived and the last to leave.
Russia, one of Nasa's key partners on the space station, initially objected, citing concerns with SpaceX's computer systems that would fly the vehicle toward the station. He found the capsule "very slick" and called it business class. SpaceX engineers dubbed the dummy Ripley, a nod to a character in the 1979 film Alien. It returned home today after offloading about 400 pounds of supplies for the International Space station.