- A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule soared back from outer space Sunday morning and made a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Four astronauts returned from a record-setting mission to the International Space Station.
- The astronauts’ safe return marks the end to NASA and SpaceX’s landmark mission, dubbed Crew-1, which set a record as the longest time in space — over 5 months.
A recent CNN news source by Jackie Wattles reveals that SpaceX-NASA Crew-1 astronauts returned from ISS.
Who are the astronauts?
The astronauts — NASA’s Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency — had boarded their Crew Dragon capsule Friday afternoon, and they spent all night aboard the 13-foot-wide, fully autonomous capsule as it conducted a series of engine burns and maneuvers to prepare itself for reentry.
The spacecraft fired up its engines to slice back into the Earth’s thick inner atmosphere around 2 am ET, and the capsule deployed a series of billowing parachutes to slow its descent before splashing down off the coast of Panama City, Florida at 2:56 am.
Astronauts’ safe return
The astronauts’ safe return marks the end to NASA and SpaceX’s landmark mission, dubbed Crew-1, which set a record as the longest time in space — over 5 months — by a crew that launched aboard an American-built spacecraft.
This is only the second time SpaceX and NASA have ever brought astronauts home aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft, following the historic return home of NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley from SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in August.
And Behnken had described reentry as the most gut-churning portion of the return trip.
Spacecraft becomes extremely hot
The spacecraft becomes extremely hot due to the friction of air molecules rubbing against its exterior.
Though a thick heat shield will protect the astronauts inside as the vehicle roars toward its target: “It doesn’t sound like a machine. It sounds like an animal,” Behnken told reporters last year.
A brigade of recovery ships
A brigade of recovery ships were waiting to haul the Crew Dragon out of the ocean, moving quickly because the bobbing waves can cause severe seasickness for the astronauts.
When asked what meal he was looking forward to upon his return home, Hopkins acknowledged during a press conference Monday that he likely won’t be feeling up to a gourmet meal.
Resilience mantra is the key
- The crew carried the Resilience mantra with them during their time in space.
- An unexpected space walk was conducted for minor repairs to the exterior of the lab.
- Resilience is one of the most important aspects in this business and exploration period.
US-controlled portion of the ISS
NASA has long awaited the ability to take full control over staffing the US-controlled portion of the ISS, and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon entering operation has already drastically increased the amount of research that is able to be carried out aboard the two-decade-old laboratory.
The experiments that the Crew-1 astronauts worked on include research into how microgravity affects human heart tissue.
They also conducted space walks to give upgrades and repairs to the space station’s exterior, and they grew radishes to build on studies designed to figure out how food might be grown to sustain deep-space exploration missions.
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Source : CNN