Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule came from outer space on Sunday (2 May 2021) morning and made a parachute landing in the Gulf of Mexico. Four astronauts returned from a record-setting mission from International Space Station. NASA’s astronauts Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s space agency, had boarded their crew capsule on Friday afternoon. They spend all night aboard the 13-foot-wide, fully autonomous capsule as it conducted a series of maneuvers and a series of engine burns to prepare itself for reentry.

To shorten back into the Earth’s thick inner atmosphere, the spacecraft fired up its engines around 2 am ET. The capsule, to slow its descent moved a series of billowing parachutes before splashing down off the coast of Panama City, Florida, at 2:56 am. This safe return of the astronauts means the end of Space X and NASA’s mission dubbed Crew-1, which was there in space for five months. It sets a record as the longest time in space by a crew that launched aboard an American-built spacecraft.

This is only the 2nd time NASA and Space X have ever brought astronauts home aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft. The friction of air molecules will rub against its exterior and which will make the spacecraft extremely hot. As the spaceship roars toward its target, there is a thick shield to protect the astronauts inside. According to NASA’s astronaut Robert Behnken,” It doesn’t sound like a machine. It sounds like an animal.” To haul the Crew Dragon out of the ocean, a brigade of recovery ships was waiting. The ships were moving quickly because bobbing waves can cause severe seasickness for the astronauts.

SpaceX Crew-1 was the 1st operational crewed flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. By the U.S, it was also 1st crew night launched. Resilience the Crew Dragon spacecraft on 16 November 2020 from the Kennedy Space Center LC-39A at 00:27:17 UTC on a Falcon 9. In the Commercial Crew Program, Crew-1 was the first operational mission to the International Space Station.

By Mandy Berg

Mandy is an editor and writer for Plainsmen Post. She's covered everything from the Stanley Cup Finals to the world of lightsaber combat in his young career.

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