The first commercially built and operated U.S. spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts from the International Space Station returned on Sunday after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico scheduled for 11:48 p.m. PT.
SpaceX Crew Dragon passengers – NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley – aptly named the story-creating spacecraft Endeavor. The astronauts sailed safely from the spacecraft on Sunday afternoon after recovering at sea.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine greeted the astronauts at home on Twitter.
The Dragon crew, released from the ISS on Saturday at 4:35 p.m., opened a crucial final leg of the crew’s pilot mission to prove that SpaceX is ready to transport astronauts to the ISS on a regular basis. The crew dragon was ready earlier.
NASA TV also broadcast live the return of the crew capsule on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. PT was to broadcast a subsequent news conference.
after a smooth start. The return schedule was initially unclear due to a heavy storm along the Florida coast.
The crew dragon had seven possible expansion sites in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. The place off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, won the honor. The harsh weather allowed the astronauts to land calmly in the waters.
A SpaceX recovery ship called the GO Navigator was in place to extract the capsule, crew and parachutes. At a news conference on Friday, Behnken and Hurley said they would have bags if they had seasickness while waiting for the recovery crew. The astronauts reported that they were lucky.
The explosion followed a tense process of returning to the process, which caused a lot of heat and stress to the spacecraft. The Dragon’s parachute was parachuted when he closed his target and carried it gently out to sea. The burn marks on the capsule were a testament to the severity of her return.
The opening of the Crew Dragon hatch on board the GO Navigator was delayed as the rescue crew cleared the poison fumes from the capsule.
Hurley and Behnken were taken to the ship’s medical facility for initial inspections as part of normal return procedures. They were scheduled to fly a helicopter back to shore.
“Anyone who has touched Endeavor should take some time to just nurture this day,” Hurley said during his exit from Crew Dragon.
If the evaluation of the Demo-2 mission goes smoothly, then NASA and SpaceX will move forward with, which is scheduled to become operational later this year.
The safe return of Behnken and Hurley opens a new future for U.S. flight from space. This fulfills the promise of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its ambition to end the space agency’s dependence on Russian spacecraft to transport its astronauts to TKS.