Four astronauts return to Earth in Elon Musk’s Space X

Four astronauts return to Earth in Elon Musk’s Space X

NASA and Space X’s Historic Crew-1 Mission Record Longest Time in Space, Over Five Months, passed by a crew launched aboard a US-built spacecraft, has come to an end successfully. A Space X Crew Dragon capsule has returned this Sunday at dawn through a landing in the Gulf of Mexico, as reported by NASA.

In it they went four astronauts, thus completing a record mission to the International Space Station. They are Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, and Soichi Noguchi. from the Japanese space agency. On Saturday night they boarded the capsule, which has remained fixed in the station’s docking ports since they arrived in November.

Upon disengagement, it began to fly freely through orbit, eventually turning on the engines to safely pass through Earth’s atmosphere. With a series of parachutes, the descent slowed down, landing last on the coast of Florida (USA).

The moment of landing

Once the four astronauts who were traveling inside the capsule fell to Earth, a brigade of rescue ships, which was waiting, has come to their aid to get them out of the ocean and prevent them from suffering from seasickness due to the waves and the change of surface.

Darkness awaited them off the coast of Panama City, Florida. And from there came, among others, a Walker who has acted as commander of the space station, who has handed over control of it to the Japanese Akihiko Hoshide, just arrived from another SpaceX ship.

The characteristics of the mission

On November 15, 2020, a capsule, nicknamed Resilience by the crew and propelled by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. A craft developed in partnership between NASA and Elon Musk’s company.

Before this there was a test mission conducted in May, which brought NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, both test pilots, to the space station. In August they returned and gave way to the one that just landed. Crew-1 was no longer a test, but a real trip and prepared for a long stay with the Dragon of Space X.

There they have been made experiments of all kinds, such as an investigation into how gravity affects human heart tissue or walks through space to make improvements to the exterior of the station. Radishes were even grown for further research in food cultivation.

The United States went almost a decade without being able to launch astronauts into space following the withdrawal of the Space Shuttle in 2011. NASA had to rely on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to send astronauts. Under NASA’s commercial crew program, The Dragon capsule developed by Space X appeared. And now, it has been this capsule that has allowed us to complete a historic mission.

Bruce Dorminey
I'm a science journalist and host of Cosmic Controversy (brucedorminey.podbean.com) as well as author of "Distant Wanderers: the Search for Planets Beyond the Solar System."  I primarily cover aerospace and astronomy. I’m a former Hong Kong bureau chief for Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and former Paris-based technology correspondent for the Financial Times newspaper who has reported from six continents. A 1998 winner in the Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerospace Journalist of the Year Awards (AJOYA), I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize winners and written about everything from potato blight to dark energy. Previously, I was a film and arts correspondent in New York and Europe, primarily for newspaper outlets like the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe and Canada's Globe & Mail. Recently, I've contributed to Scientific American.com, Nature News, Physics World, and Yale Environment 360.com. I'm a current contributor to Astronomy and Sky & Telescope and a correspondent for Renewable Energy World. Twitter @bdorminey