Four astronauts were trapped in their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, which was launched from the International Space Station and sank in a fiery waters off the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday morning, shutting down the first operational spacecraft of SpaceX’s future touchscreen boat.
Crew-1 Commander Michael Hopkins, along with NASA astronauts Victor Clover and Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Sochi Nokuchi were cut off from the space-facing harbor of the Harmony module ahead of the station at 8:35 p.m.
It only set up the second pilot water landing for NASA’s post-spacecraft business group project and the third night in space history – the first in almost 45 years.
But Crew Dragon completed a textbook for returning to Earth, disembarked, parked four large parachutes, and made its way to a slow splash town south of Panama City, Florida, at 2:56 a.m., completing a voyage that spanned 2,688 orbits in 168 days. Launched last November.
“On behalf of the Dragon, NASA and SpaceX teams, we welcome you back to Earth. Thank you for flying SpaceX,” the company’s capsule spokesman said on the radio. “For those of you who have signed up for our Continuous Flyer Plan, you have earned 68 million miles on this trip.”
“It’s good to be back on earth,” Hopkins replied. “We’ll take those miles. Are they changeable?”
“And Dragon, we need to recommend you to our marketing department for that policy.”
Despite the night landing, NASA’s WB-57 surveillance aircraft captured spectacular infrared shots of the capsule as it descended through the capsule’s dense lower atmosphere, while cameras on SpaceX’s rescue ship captured the Splastown moment.
To protect the spacecraft, the SpaceX crew rushed to the crew dragon and loaded it onto a company rescue ship. The astronauts were inside, waiting for the capsule to be ejected, and on stretchers to help them exit, they began to adjust the gravitational force back into space for five and a half months.
“What a ride! Thanks to சாNASA, p SpaceX and குழுUSCG teams for a safe and successful voyage to Earth,” Clover tweeted. “Another step closer to family and home!”
Before boarding on his own, Hopkins aired the air traffic controllers at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, saying, “On behalf of Crew-1 and our families, we want to say thank you.”
“We want to say thank you for this wonderful vehicle, regression,” he said. “We said it before work, and then I’m going to say it again here. It’s amazing what people can do when they get together. So finally, I want to say, quite frankly, congratulations on you all changing the world. Glad to be back.”
Following medical checks and phone calls to friends and family, the four crew members were flown ashore by helicopter and handed over to NASA crews to return to the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Mission managers prefer daytime landings, with rough weather rejecting re-entry plans on Wednesdays and Saturdays. With light winds expected early Sunday morning, NASA and SpaceX agreed to target the Crew-1 astronauts for their return at dawn.
“Night landing? At sea? The good thing is, the ship has a naval aviator! You got it” st Astrovic Clover !!! “Astronaut Nick Hawke tweeted, referring to Clover’s experience as a Navy F / A-18 carrier pilot.” Smooth landings regression group. “
Unlike the first pilot crew Dragon Splashtown last August, the Coast Guard planned to implement a 10-mile-wide safety zone for this landing when the spacecraft was quickly surrounded by delightful boats in the Gulf on Sunday afternoon. Well away.
The arrival of the crew dragon completed the record-breaking crew cycle that required two missiles and two landings with four different spacecraft within three weeks to replace the seven-member crew of the International Space Station.
On April 9, aAfter being launched from the Pykhonur Cosmotrome in Kazakhstan, Oleg Nowitsky took Piot Dabrow and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hay to the station. They changed – Sergei Ryzykov, Sergei Good-Sverkov and Kate Rubins – returned to Earth on April 17.
Then, on April 24, a crew member of the Dragon Crew-2, Shane Kimbero, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesket and Japanese aviator Akihiko Hoshaid. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket Hopkins and helped start the company, they were the transformation team at the station.
After helping the Crew-2 astronauts settle on the laboratory premises, Hopkins, Clover, Walker and Nokuchi, who, Said goodbye to its seven crew members Saturday evening and floated in their own crew dragon to open.
After moving to a safe distance, the ship’s aeronautical system fired the ship’s braking thrusters for about 16.5 minutes starting at 2:03 a.m. Sunday.
Moving into space at 17,100 mph – more than 83 football fields per second – the rocket fire slowed the crew dragon to 258 mph, which was enough to land the far side of the orbit in a dense low-altitude orbit targeting the Gulf of Mexico.
Protected by a high-tech thermal shield, the Crew Dragon collided with the visible atmosphere at 2:45 a.m., crashing rapidly into the flames of atmospheric friction.
As the plasma exited the tropics, the spacecraft’s parachutes erupted, causing the ship to have a relatively mild impact on the Gulf.
The most recent previous overnight landing came in October 1976, when two astronauts aboard the Soviet-era Soyuz spacecraft created an unplanned descent into conditions such as a blizzard after a failed docking and were certainly thrown into a large lake in Kazakhstan. It took the rescue team nine hours to move the spacecraft to shore and rescue the astronauts.
In December 1968, when Apollo 8’s crew returned home from a Christmas orbit around the moon and made a planned, unplanned dawn landing in the Pacific Ocean, only one night came to Splash Town.
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