Update, Aug. 2, 11: 54 a.m. PT: Crew Dragon has actually successfully crashed. Read about it here
The SpaceX Team Dragon Demo-2 mission has been smooth cruising up until now for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley released to the International Space Station in late May and are now nearly back to Earth.
Splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico is on schedule for 11: 48 a.m. PT. There will have to do with an hour of enjoyment prior to that moment as Crew Dragon deorbits and returns to Earth’s atmosphere.
NASA and SpaceX are intending on a water landing off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday while continuing to monitor any effect from Hurricane Isaias.
This will be the very first team recovery at sea of NASA astronauts given that 1975 at the end of the Apollo moon exploration period, the area firm tweeted on Sunday
A post-splashdown news conference is set for 1: 30 p.m. PT on NASA TELEVISION.
The reentry procedure is dramatic. “Team Dragon will be traveling at orbital speed prior to reentry, moving at around 17,500 miles per hour. The maximum temperature level it will experience on reentry is approximately 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit,” said NASA in a statement on July 24
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A SpaceX recovery vessel will satisfy Team Dragon (which the astronauts called Endeavour) to gather the spacecraft and parachutes from the water. Endeavour will be hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley will be greeted by a medical group.
“This is SpaceX’s last test flight and is supplying data on the efficiency of the Falcon 9 rocket, Team Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown and healing operations,” NASA stated in a release
If Team Dragon passes these last tests, then SpaceX will be able to provide regular, functional flights to the ISS beginning later this year