December 1, 2023
Diapers and no bath in SpaceX, astronauts return from the space station after 6 months in the mission |  Science

Diapers and no bath in SpaceX, astronauts return from the space station after 6 months in the mission | Science

After nearly six months on the International Space Station (IS, acronym in English), four astronauts – two Americans, a French and a Japanese – returned to Earth on Monday (8). They were working on Crew Mission 2, who has conducted hundreds of experiments and improved solar panels for the lab.

The four traveled in the dragon capsule from SpaceXbaptized in the name of “quest”that separated from the International Space Station at 4:05 p.m. Brasilia time. US space agencyNASABroadcast the entire process live on their social networks.

“I’m packing at the last minute and getting ready to leave the International Space Station,” Japanese Akihiko Hoshide wrote on Twitter. “It’s been over six fun months, it’s been a pleasure and an honor to work with all these wonderful people from all over the world, on and off the planet.”

Among the astronauts’ activities during the months on the International Space Station are documenting the Earth’s surface to record human-caused changes and natural events, growing peppers, and studying some of the larvae to understand human health in space.

However, the team’s return was supposed to take place on Sunday (7), but it had to be postponed due to weather conditions.

Bad weather and what NASA considered a “secondary medical problem” also caused delays in the launch of a new group of astronauts, Crew Mission 3. Departure should take place on Wednesday (10). SpaceX has been transporting astronauts to the International Space Station since 2020.

“As we prepare to leave, there is a bittersweet feeling that we may never see the International Space Station again,” Frenchman Thomas Pesquet told a news conference last weekend before returning to Earth.

Before getting home, the four astronauts face one last challenge: Need to wear a diaper during the flight, where a problem was discovered with the capsule waste handling system.

They have been denied access to the bathroom since the capsule doors closed at 2:40pm and would have to stay that way for about 10 hours, until they hit the floor.

“It’s definitely not perfect, but we’re prepared to deal with it,” said NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur. “Space journey is full of challenges, this is just another one that we are facing and we have to deal with in this mission.”

Astronauts on the International Space Station – Photo: ESA/NASA-T. biscuits