The Christian Science Monitor

Beyond the big splash: What SpaceX success means for America

It sounds like a quirky children’s film: Ripley the mannequin blasts off in a rocket with nothing but her trusty stuffed Earth. The two get separated on the International Space Station, but Ripley returns home from her weeklong voyage alone, yet triumphant. But that’s just what happened this week. And it could signal a new era in American spaceflight.

Ripley, named for Sigourney Weaver’s character in the “Alien” movie franchise, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean Friday morning at 8:45 a.m. EST in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. Thus concluded the spacecraft’s first test flight to the International Space Station – a milestone

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