Tropical storm may delay 1st SpaceX crew's return to Earth

Katie Ramirez
November 2, 2020

"I'm happy you went into space but I'm even happier that you're coming back home".

Thus ended the first crewed mission with a commercial USA spacecraft in years.

History was made today as two NASA astronauts returned to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a privately built and operated spacecraft.

Their mission, named Demo-2, also marked the first time Nasa launched astronauts from U.S. soil in nine years.

Managers are targeting a Sunday splashdown, right around the time rough weather is expected to hit Florida.

"We also want to have numerous providers that are competing against each other on cost, innovation and safety, driving down cost and increasing access to space in a way that's never been seen before", Bridenstine said.

The agency later added the capsule was confirmed to be "on a safe trajectory".

The splashdown is the final step in the mission created to test SpaceX's human spaceflight system - including launch, docking, splashdown, and recovery operations.

Musk said at that time: "We need to bring them home safely and make sure that we are doing everything we can to minimise that risk of reentry".

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According to NASA, Demo-2's primary mission was to provide flight data from the Crew Dragon, the Falcon 9 booster, and ground systems regarding performance during launch, in-orbit, docking, splashdown, and recovery operations.

'Welcome back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX, ' Mission Control from SpaceX headquarters said, welcoming Hurley and Behnken back following the splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sometime later, the spacecraft will perform another manoeuvre, known as deorbit burn, which will place the it on a trajectory for splashdown, travelling at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour.

The Crew Dragon faced scorching temperatures of around 1,900C as it entered the Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceX's astronaut carrier, the Crew Dragon, landed in the water off Pensacola, western Florida. "Congratulations to the entire SpaceX and NASA team on such an extraordinary mission".

The re-entry will mark the end of SpaceX's human spaceflight demonstration mission.

Hurley and Behnken made their historic water landing at 2:48pm ET inside SpaceX's Dragon Capsule - the first time this has been attempted in 45 years.

"Great to have NASA Astronauts return to Earth after very successful two month mission".

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