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WATCH: NASA Astronauts Hurley and Behnken discuss historic SpaceX Dragon test flight

The landmark SpaceX test flight was hailed a success on Sunday after two NASA astronauts returned to Earth in the first splashdown by a U.S. space crew in 45 years.

Watch the discussion in the player above.

It was the first commercially built and operated spacecraft to carry people to and from orbit.

The return clears the way for another SpaceX crew launch as early as next month and possible tourist flights next year.

SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said while there was still room for improvement it was a positive result.

“We certainly feel comfortable that we’re on the right path to carry commercial passengers not too long from now,” she said.

Test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken rode the SpaceX Dragon capsule back to Earth less than a day after departing the International Space Station and two months after blasting off from Florida.

The capsule parachuted into the calm gulf waters of the Gulf of Mexico about 40 miles (64 kilometres) off the coast of Pensacola, hundreds of miles from Tropical Storm Isaias pounding Florida’s Atlantic coast.

Boaters were seen surrounding the capsule shortly after splashdown.

NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager Steve Stich said a 10 nautical mile area was cleared with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard ahead of the landing.