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SpaceX splashdown replay: See NASA astronauts safely return to Earth

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been strapped into Crew Dragon and able to go previous to the launch scrub on May 27.


The first return of a commercially constructed and operated US spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts from the International Space Station made waves Sunday when it splashed down within the Gulf of Mexico proper as scheduled at 11:48 a.m. PT. 

The SpaceX Crew Dragon passengers — NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley — fittingly named the history-making spacecraft Endeavour. The astronauts safely exited the spacecraft on Sunday afternoon after a restoration at sea.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine welcomed the astronauts home in a tweet

Crew Dragon undocked from the ISS at 4:35 p.m. PT on Saturday, kicking off the essential ultimate leg of the crewed take a look at mission that is meant to show SpaceX is able to carry astronauts forwards and backwards to the ISS frequently. Crew Dragon had beforehand aced its uncrewed Demo-1 test flight back in March.

NASA TV livestreamed the crew capsule’s return and was scheduled to broadcast a follow-up information convention at 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday.

Behnken and Hurley arrived at the ISS in late May after a clean launch. The return schedule was initially unsure because of the arrival of a significant storm alongside the Florida coast.

Crew Dragon had seven potential splashdown websites within the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean to select from. A spot off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, received the respect. The climate held out properly, giving the astronauts calm waters to land in.

A SpaceX restoration ship named GO Navigator was on location to retrieve the capsule, crew and parachutes. In a information convention on Friday, Behnken and Hurley stated they’d have baggage prepared in case they skilled seasickness whereas ready for pickup by the restoration crew. The astronauts reported they have been doing nicely after splashdown.

The splashdown adopted a tense reentry course of that put numerous warmth and stress on the spacecraft. Crew Dragon’s parachutes deployed because it closed in on its goal and introduced it gently down into the ocean. Scorch marks on the capsule have been a testomony to the trials of its return journey.

There was a delay in opening the Crew Dragon hatch on board GO Navigator because the recovery crew purged toxic vapor fumes from across the capsule.

Hurley and Behnken have been taken to a medical facility on the ship for preliminary checkups as a part of the usual return procedures. They have been scheduled for a helicopter experience again to shore. 

“To anybody who has touched Endeavour, you should take a moment to just cherish this day,” said Hurley during the exit from Crew Dragon.

If the Demo-2 mission evaluation goes easily, then NASA and SpaceX will transfer ahead with the first operational Crew Dragon mission, which is scheduled to launch later this 12 months. 

The secure return of Behnken and Hurley opens up a brand new future for US spaceflight. It fulfills the promise of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and its quest to finish the house company’s dependence on Russian spacecraft to hold its astronauts to the ISS. 

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