The big picture: Behnken and Hurley's 2-month mission marked the first time people have launched to orbit from the USA since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.
SpaceX has brought two NASA astronauts home from a historic mission. Unlike Florida's Atlantic coast, already feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias, the waves and wind were calm near Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.
Just over two months after it became the first American spacecraft to launch astronauts into space in almost a decade, SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour is nearing the end of its historic flight in space.
SpaceX has successfully landed NASA astronauts in the ocean for the first time in nearly half a century, completing the most important mission in the company's history and setting it up for an imminent operational launch debut.
"It was truly our honor and privilege", replied Hurley.
Their ride home in the capsule dubbed Endeavour was fast, bumpy and hot, at least on the outside.
Finally, around 11:48 am EDT (15:48 UTC), Crew Dragon - having successfully deployed drogue and main parachutes for the second time after an orbital launch - gently splashed down in the ocean. Rapid air compression and the friction between the air and spacecraft will heat the outside of the spacecraft to about 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit - a unsafe part of the journey. But what time will it actually be landing back on Earth?
Stakes were high as the astronauts only had 48 hours of oxygen in their capsule after undocking. The recovery vessel still has full capability to safely recover the spacecraft and crew.
The opening of the hatch was held up briefly by extra checks for toxic rocket fumes outside the capsule. The astronauts will then be able to get out and will be checked by a medical staff before being flown to shore.
Crew Dragon Capsule C201 being recovered after splashdown following Demo-1.
The landmark mission, launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on May 31, marked the first time the space agency launched people from United States soil since its shuttle program retired in 2011.
The Soyuz 23 mission in October 1976 accidentally landed in Lake Tengiz in the middle of blizzard. The lone Russian "splashdown" was in 1976 on a partially frozen lake amid a blizzard following an aborted mission; the harrowing recovery took hours.
The two men made history with the successful launch in May. Now SpaceX is on the verge of becoming the first company to bring people back from orbit.
Nasa could extend that slightly, Mr Steve Stich, the agency's commercial crew programme manager, told reporters July 29.
Musk monitored the descent and splashdown from SpaceX Mission Control in Hawthorne, California.
President Trump and Vice President Pence, who both watched the launch in Florida, sent congratulations.
"Great to have NASA Astronauts return to Earth after very successful two month mission".
"Thank you to all!" he tweeted.
If all goes well, the crew would undock from the station at about 7:34 p.m. Saturday and splashdown Sunday at 2:42 p.m.
Pilot Doug Hurley, one of the two astronauts on board, said: "It's truly our honor and privilege" as radio communications became choppy and cut out. The contract also includes up to six operational flights to the station.
Behnken and Hurley are longtime friends with young children.
By Sunday afternoon, the Crew Dragon will be orbiting just above the thick halo of atmosphere that surrounds Earth. The last time was following the joint U.S.
Dragon and Starliner are meant to fill a gap in crewed spaceflight capability left by the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011.
Also on board: a toy dinosaur named Tremor, sent into space by the astronauts' young sons. "You'll have to pick which one of us is your favorite".
Behnken said Friday he was most excited to see his family and his 6-year-old son, saying, "He's changed a lot in the couple of months that we've been up here".