PENSACOLA, Fla. – St. Louis native Bob Behnken returned home safely from space Sunday, meanwhile a St. Louis resident was enjoying the beach and didn’t realize SpaceX’s Dragon was coming down in the same water he was swimming in.
St. Louis resident Drew Iliff wasn’t the only one on the beach who didn’t know the splashdown was happening, but when Nexstar Nation’s Brianna Hollis told Iliff where Behnken was from he was excited he was in the area.
“Honestly it’s pretty crazy thinking about that, it almost feels special to be here in a way, because I am interested in SpaceX and all that stuff, so it feels cool to know someone – well, live close to someone who was in the craft,” Iliff said.
Even though people on the beach weren’t able to see anything since the splashdown happened 170 miles offshore, they did hear the sonic boom and that was excitement enough for many.
The splashdown was successful and everyone was safe.
SpaceX has done water landings for International Space Station (ISS) resupply missions, but this was the first one involving U.S. astronauts. The two of them went into orbit in May on a Falcon 9 and the Dragon capsule docked at the ISS.
They started their trip back down to Earth in Dragon alone Saturday and made their splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico at about 1:45 p.m.