US astronauts pack up for uncommon splashdown in SpaceX capsule

US astronauts pack up for rare splashdown in SpaceX capsule

Two US astronauts about to make the primary splashdown return in 45 years mentioned Friday they’re going to have seasick baggage prepared to make use of if wanted.

SpaceX and Nasa plan to deliver Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken again on Sunday afternoon (native time) within the firm’s Dragon capsule, aiming for the Gulf of Mexico simply off the Florida Panhandle.

Flight controllers are preserving shut watch on Hurricane Isaias, anticipated to stay to Florida’s east coast.

Hurley mentioned if he and Behnken get sick whereas bobbing within the waves awaiting restoration, it received’t be the primary time for a crew. Astronauts returning within the early 1970s from Skylab, Nasa’s first area station, didn’t really feel properly following splashdown, Hurley famous.

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Feeling sick “is the best way it’s with a water touchdown,” he mentioned through the crew’s closing information convention from the Worldwide House Station.

This might be SpaceX’s first splashdown with astronauts on board, ending a two-month take a look at flight that started Might 30 at Nasa’s Kennedy House Centre – the primary launch of a crew from the US in almost a decade.

The capsule has been docked on the area station since Might 31, permitting Hurley and Behnken to chip in with spacewalks and experiments.

From left, astronauts Bob Behnken, Chris Cassidy and Doug Hurley on the International Space Station.


From left, astronauts Bob Behnken, Chris Cassidy and Doug Hurley on the Worldwide House Station.

Hurley mentioned the emergency and different tools has checked out properly aboard Dragon, dubbed Endeavour. Launch and rendezvous went flawlessly, “so we anticipate nothing totally different for the splashdown,” he mentioned.

Their departure leaves three on board, one American and two Russians.

The Dragon capsule might be within the water for about an hour earlier than it is hauled by crane onto a SpaceX restoration ship. Will probably be one other hour earlier than the hatch is opened and the astronauts emerge.

Flight surgeons might be among the many dozens of the restoration group members.

The plan is for the Dragon to undock from the area station on Saturday, a day earlier than splashdown. The prime goal is off the coast of Panama Metropolis, midway between Tallahassee and Pensacola.

“We received’t depart the area station with out some good touchdown alternatives in entrance of us, good splashdown climate,” Behnken instructed reporters.

“We might keep up right here longer. There’s extra chow and I do know the area station programme’s obtained extra work that we are able to do.”

Like launch, the experience again might be primarily automated, with the crew and flight controllers intervening provided that mandatory.

Behnken has an additional motive to deliver this Dragon again in good condition. Following refurbishment, the capsule will fly once more subsequent spring with a crew of 4 – together with his spouse, Nasa astronaut Megan McArthur.

SpaceX’s subsequent astronaut flight is focused for the top of September.

Behnken mentioned even earlier than his launch, they’d an inkling she could be assigned to a SpaceX flight. Nasa introduced the information this week.

“And naturally, I’ll have numerous ideas for her,” he mentioned.

Hurley is married to not too long ago retired Nasa astronaut Karen Nyberg.

Nasa turned to SpaceX and Boeing for US-based crew transport after the area shuttles retired in 2011.

Russian rockets had been the one means for astronauts to get to the area station till SpaceX grew to become the primary non-public firm to launch people into orbit two months in the past. Boeing’s first crew flight is not anticipated till subsequent yr.

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