Four astronauts complete their five months as they prepare to return home aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule from the International Space Station. Mission To the orbit laboratory. The astronauts set a record for the longest time in space when launched into an American-built spacecraft.
On Saturday evening, the crew planned to board their spacecraft, which had been fixed since the astronauts’ arrival at the space station’s docking ports in November. They will open from the ISS at 8:30 pm and then spend the night in their capsule as they fly through orbit. The spacecraft will shoot its onboard engines to safely cut through the Earth’s thick atmosphere, and will use a series of parachutes to slow down its dignity before launching into ET off the coast of Florida at 2:57 a.m. Sunday.
As the upward vehicle of the four large parachutes heads out to sea, the fleet of rescue ships will stop in the Gulf of Mexico. The astronauts will be flown back to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston by helicopter or boat, which is home to all U.S. astronauts.
Rescue crews will try to run their returns quickly. Ocean splash down on astronauts can be difficult because the popping waves can cause severe seasickness. When he returned home and was asked what food he was looking forward to, NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins admitted that he was not eating a good meal.
“If I had a hunger, it would be a bonus,” Hopkins said during a televised press conference Monday.
Authorities are closely monitoring the water near any intrusion. During the Crew Dragon Demo-2 splashdown in August, a swarm of unidentified, flag-waving boats trespassed into the rescue area. But Coast Guard teams are currently stationed around the perimeter, hoping to prevent that scene from happening again.
The capsule has a working lounge, and astronauts – NASA Michael Hopkins, Victor Clover, Shannon Walker and Sochi Nokucci, An astronaut with the Japanese space agency – will have time to get some sleep in full autonomous vehicle orbit, while SpaceX and NASA officials in Hawthorne, Houston, Texas and California Watch the journey.
Walker is serving as commander of the space station, and on Tuesday, he officially handed over control to Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshaid. Last week I.S. On another SpaceX spacecraft.
The crew’s return on Sunday will mark a milestone for NASA and SpaceX: the first fully operational crew for the Crew Dragon spacecraft, which carried two NASA astronauts, Douglas Hurley and Robert Behenken, following a test mission in May. To the space station.
This is the second time that SpaceX and NASA have taken astronauts home on a crew dragon spacecraft since Behanken and Hurley returned from SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission in August. Behkenken described rehab as the most intrusive part of the return journey.
The spacecraft gets very hot due to rapid air compression and friction of air molecules rubbing against its exterior, however a thick thermal shield will protect the astronauts inside as the vehicle roars towards its target: “It does not sound like an engine,” Behken told reporters last year.
But this task, called Crew-1, is not a test. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon was officially certified as a spacecraft capable of carrying people before launch of the Crew-1 in November, leading to the relatively routine launch of the mission, carrying astronauts from a variety of backgrounds.
For example, both Walker and Nokuchi have backgrounds in physics. And hosted by the team Tests where they stayed for five months at ISS, including research on how microgravity affects human heart tissue. They also conducted Space styles They grew radishes to make improvements and repairs to the exterior of the space station, and to develop studies designed to discover how food can be grown to sustain in-depth space exploration work.
Hopkins told a recent news conference that astronauts should eat some of the crops they grow.
“I think we all agree that being new is amazing [food] Above here, “Hopkins said.
This was Clover’s first mission to space, and his work is historically significant because he became the first black man to become a full-time ISS employee.
“One thing that affected me so deeply was when I first got out of the seat [our spacecraft] Safely in orbit, I looked out the window, looked at the earth from 250 miles away, “Clover said.” I will never forget that moment … it’s not about sight. How that scene made me feel … Earth is amazing. This is beautiful. It protects us, so we have to work hard to protect it. “
The United States spent almost a decade without the ability to launch astronauts after the space program retired in 2011, and was forced to rely on NASA’s Russian Soyuz spacecraft to take astronauts to ISS. Billion-dollar orbit lab staff. As many In 2009 there were 13 astronauts aboard at the same time. That number has occasionally dropped to three in many cases, leaving fewer people to help run the tests and maintain the space station well. However, with the recent SpaceX missions, the staff has grown to 11.
SpaceX developed the Crew Dragon capsule under NASA’s Commercial Crew program, which, for the first time in the space agency’s history, provided the private sector with the design, development and testing of the new human – estimated spacecraft. NASA awarded $ 2.6 billion and $ 4.2 billion to SpaceX and Boeing fixed price deals, respectively. The development of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft is still delayed due to major software issues discovered during a test mission last year, but officials say the vehicle may be ready this year.