nasa: Nasa-SpaceX crew returns from record mission aboard International Space Station – Times of India

Four astronauts safely returned on Monday from a record six-month science mission aboard the International Space Station, splashing down with their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule within the Gulf of Mexico on the finish of a daylong flight house.
The Dragon automobile, dubbed Endeavour, parachuted into the ocean off the Florida coast as deliberate simply after 10:30 p.m. EST on Monday (0330 GMT Tuesday), following a re-entry descent by way of Earth’s environment carried reside by a Nasa webcast.
Real-time infrared thermal video imaging captured a glimpse of the capsule streaking like a meteor by way of the night time sky over the Gulf minutes earlier than splashdown.
Applause was heard from the flight management heart because the 4 predominant parachutes inflated above the capsule, seen drifting down towards the Gulf floor and slowing to about 15 miles per hour (24 kph) earlier than dropping gently into the calm sea.
“Endeavour, on behalf of SpaceX, welcome home to planet Earth,” a voice from the SpaceX flight management heart in suburban Los Angeles was heard telling the crew as a protected splashdown was confirmed.
“It’s great to be back,” one of the astronauts radioed in reply.
The return capped 199 full days in orbit, the longest ever for a whole U.S.-launched crew, in accordance with Kathy Lueders, affiliate Nasa chief for house operations. It surpassed the earlier 168-day record set by the predecessor SpaceX-Nasa mission earlier this yr, she mentioned.
Within an hour of splashdown, the capsule was hoisted from the ocean to the deck of a restoration ship, and the 4 astronauts had been seen rising one after the other from Endeavour’s hatch.
Two Nasa astronauts on the flight – pilot Megan McArthur, 50, and mission commander Shane Kimbrough, 54 – had been the primary two out of the automobile. They had been adopted by Japanese crew mate Akihiko Hoshide, 52, and fellow mission specialist Thomas Pesquet, 43, a French engineer from the European Space Agency.
Each flashed smiles and a V-for-victory signal as they had been helped onto ready gurneys, unable to right away bear their very own weight after months in microgravity. They had been to bear transient medical checkups then be flown to shore by way of helicopter.
Operating autonomously, the spacecraft started its eight-hour return voyage earlier within the day with a 90-minute fly-round of the house station because the crew snapped a sequence of survey images of the orbiting outpost, circling the globe some 250 miles (400 km) above.
The Crew Dragon then proceeded by way of a sequence of maneuvers over the course of the day to carry it nearer to Earth forward of its ultimate night time-time descent.
Propelled by one final ignition of its ahead rocket thrusters for a “de-orbit burn,” the capsule re-entered the environment at about 17,000 miles per hour (27,359 kph) for a free-fall towards the ocean under, throughout which crew communications had been misplaced for a number of minutes.
Intense friction generated because the capsule plunged by way of the environment slowed its descent whereas sending temperatures surrounding the skin of the automobile hovering to three,500 levels Fahrenheit (1,927 levels Celsius). The backside of the capsule is roofed by a defend that dissipates the warmth, stopping the spacecraft from incinerating.
The 4 astronauts had been launched to orbit atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23.
It was the third crew despatched to the house station below Nasa’s fledgling public-non-public partnership with SpaceX, the rocket firm shaped in 2002 by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, who additionally based electrical automobile maker Tesla Inc.
The returning staff was designated “Crew 2” as a result of it marks the second “operational” crew that Nasa has launched aboard a SpaceX capsule since resuming human house flights from American soil final yr, after a 9-yr hiatus on the finish of the U.S. house shuttle program in 2011.
The substitute staff, “Crew 3,” was initially slated to fly to the house station on the finish of October, however that launch has been delayed by climate issues and an unspecified medical challenge involving one of the 4 crew members.

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