Before this flight, only the U.S. government, the Russian government, the Japanese government and the European Space Agency, had achieved this feat.
Now, on Thursday, May 31, 2012, about 560 miles (900 kilometers) off the Baja California peninsula the Dragon capsule slowly descended via parachutes at a final rate of about 10 to 12 miles (16 to 19 kilometers) per hour.
Its splashdown into the Pacific Ocean came at 11:42 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) – completing its historic flight from Florida to the International Space Station and back to Earth.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, exclaimed moments afterwards: "Splashdown successful!! Sending fast boat to Dragon lat/long provided by P3 tracking planes.” (where lat/long” means latitude/longitude and “P3 tracking planes” refers to four-engine maritime reconnaissance airplanes)
Read more about the SpaceX Dragon deorbit burn, re-entry, and descent onto the Pacific Ocean at the 5/31/2012 CBS Space News article “SpaceX cargo ship returns to Earth to close out historic mission”.