U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the Worldwide Area Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down within the capsule within the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA’s first […]
U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who flew to the Worldwide Area Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon, splashed down within the capsule within the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a two-month voyage that was NASA’s first crewed mission from dwelling soil in 9 years.
Behnken and Hurley undocked from the station on Saturday and returned dwelling to land within the waves off Florida’s Pensacola coast on schedule at 2:48 p.m. ET following a 21-hour in a single day journey aboard Crew Dragon “Endeavor.”
The profitable splashdown was a last key check of whether or not Elon Musk’s spacecraft can transport astronauts to and from orbit — a feat no personal firm has achieved earlier than.
“On behalf of the SpaceX and NASA groups, welcome again to Planet Earth. Thanks for flying SpaceX,” SpaceX mission management stated upon splashdown.
For the return sequence, on-board thrusters and two units of parachutes labored autonomously to sluggish the acorn-shaped capsule, bringing Behnken and Hurley’s velocity of 17,500 miles per hour in orbit all the way down to 350 mph upon atmospheric reentry, and ultimately 15 mph at splashdown.
Throughout reentry to Earth’s ambiance, the capsule’s outer shell withstood temperatures as excessive as 3,500 Fahrenheit whereas Behnken and Hurley, carrying SpaceX’s white flight fits strapped contained in the cabin, skilled 85 Fahrenheit.
The crew will spend as much as an hour floating contained in the capsule earlier than joint restoration groups from SpaceX and NASA retrieve them for a helicopter journey ashore. There they may endure medical checks forward of a flight to NASA’s Johnson Area Middle in Houston, Texas.
Billionaire entrepreneur Musk’s SpaceX turned the primary personal firm to ship people to orbit with the launch of Behnken and Hurley, who’ve spent greater than two months on the house station.
The landmark mission, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Area Middle on Might 31, marked the primary time the U.S. house company launched people from American soil since its shuttle program retired in 2011. Since then america has relied on Russia’s house program to launch its astronauts to the house station.
Behnken and Hurley’s homecoming was additionally the primary crewed splashdown in an American capsule in 45 years.
The pair undocked from the house station late on Saturday and commenced regularly reducing their orbital altitude in a single day, awaking Sunday morning to recorded wake-up calls from their sons.
“Good morning Dragon Endeavor,” Hurley’s son stated in a recorded message despatched to the capsule. “I’m joyful you went into house however I’m even happier that you just’re coming again dwelling.”
NASA officers have stated Crew Dragon, a pod with seven astronaut seats, was in a “very wholesome” situation whereas docked on the house station, the place astronauts performed checks and monitored how the spacecraft performs in house.
NASA, aiming to provoke a industrial house market, awarded almost $eight billion to SpaceX and Boeing Co collectively in 2014 to develop dueling house capsules, experimenting with a contract mannequin that permits the house company to purchase astronaut seats from the 2 corporations.
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“Nice to have NASA Astronauts return to Earth after very profitable two month mission,” President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter. “Thanks to all!”
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