It's National Space Day and Texas has plenty to celebrate as Texan Victor Glover piloted the SpaceX crew to the International Space Station back in November, and successfully splashed down on Sunday completing the mission. Glover becomes the first African American to complete a long-term stay at the International Space Station.

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Successful Splashdown

The Space X Dragon Capsul came down in the dark on Sunday, splashing down not far from Panama City, Florida, marking just the first time a capsule has returned from space at night, and just the second time a crew in space has landed in the Gulf of Mexico according to the Washington Post.

Commander Mike Hopkins was first out of the capsule followed by Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Glover told NBCDFW that “I don’t know if it’s ever going to completely sink in. I think there’s a lot to unpack and process from this mission, and I’m still writing in my journal and looking at all of the lessons.”

Another Win for America in Space

The successful return of Glover and the SpaceX crew is yet another inspirational win for the Astronauts of the United States. The first win came on July 16th, 1969 when Apollo 11 landed on the surface of the moon. National Space Day was introduced back in the 1990s by Lockheed Martin (1997) and was intended to be a one-time event. It became so popular that it was introduced as an annual event and expanded to International Space Day with the help of Astronaut and then-Senator John Glenn according to National

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

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