Elon Musk’s SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida coast Posted by Vento on 9th March 2019 in International News
13 March, 2019, 16:20
Although this is the capsule's last challenge for this mission, it may also be one of the biggest. Now, thanks to SpaceX's successful test mission, astronauts may soon have an alternate, more affordable, mode of transportation to the ISS.
An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk's SpaceX splashed into the Atlantic Ocean on Friday, successfully completing a mission crucial to NASA's long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from USA soil later this year. Ten minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9's reusable first stage rocket made a picture-perfect landing on the company's drone ship, Of Course I Still Love You, waiting out in the Atlantic. Now, five days after its historic inaugural mission, the Crew Dragon is ready to go home. At 5:51 a.m. EST on March 3, about 27 hours after launching into orbit, the capsule successfully docked at the orbiting lab. "It's not just for our own astronauts from NASA, but it's also going to carry up crew members from Canada, Europe, Japan and even Russian Federation". Ripley was riddled with sensors to monitor how flight in the capsule would feel for humans.
SpaceX launched a plush Earth doll aboard its Crew Dragon spaceship in March 2019. Upon entering the Earth's atmospheres, it deployed a set of four parachutes to help slow down its rapid pace.
"Everything happened just perfectly, right on time the way that we expected it to", Benjamin Reed, SpaceX's director of crew mission management, said in a live stream from California.
The capsule, which was lifted out of the water by a boat using a crane, is due back on land by Sunday. As the first crew-capable spacecraft from the United States in eight years, the Crew Dragon needs to show that it is capable of returning to Earth safely.
Boeing's Starliner crew capsule is poised to launch its maiden unmanned mission in April ahead of an August test flight carrying USA astronauts Michael Fincke, Chris Ferguson and Nicole Mann.
"For the first time, we've gotten to see an end-to-end test, and so now we've brought together the people, the hardware and all the processes and procedures, and we've gotten to see how they all work together, and that's very important as we move toward putting people onboard" NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins has said. Contracted missions for NASA, each of which will carry four astronauts, will follow sometime after that.
Separately, Boeing is scheduled to carry out an unmanned demo mission in April of its Starliner capsule. "It's also the first commercially built human rated space craft", Gebhardt says.
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