Two NASA astronauts returned to Earth on Sunday. Riding in a spacecraft designed and run by SpaceX, a rocket corporation founded by Elon Musk, two NASA astronauts Robert L.Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley splashed down near Pensacola, Fla., on Sunday afternoon.
This Sunday, the first astronaut visit to orbit by a private company parachuted to a safe end conclusion in the Gulf of Mexico. This was the first water landing by NASA astronauts since 1975, when the Agency's crews were still flying to and from orbit in the Apollo modules utilised for the American moon missions.
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken flew the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft back to Earth less than a day after visiting the International Space Station just two months after lifting off from Florida. The capsule parachuted into the calm gulf waters off the coast of Pensacola,hundreds of miles away from the Tropical Storm of Isaias and the Atlantic coast of Florida.
The company's Mission Control said "Welcome back to planet Earth and thanks for flying SpaceX." The spacecraft went from a high orbital speed of 17,500 mph (28,000 km / h) to 350 mph (560 km / h) during the atmospheric reentry, and eventually to 15 mph (24 km / h) at the splashdown. The peak temperature during descent was 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,900 degrees Celsius). The predicted top G forces experienced by the crew is four to five times the force of Earth's gravity.
Over 40 staff, including doctors and nurses, moved in the following splashdown with two smaller, quicker boats in a SpaceX recovery ship. The recovery crew quarantine for two weeks and were tested positive for coronavirus so as to keep the two astronauts safe.
NASA tweeted that, "Our recovery teams are making sure that there are no poisonous fumes around the capsule, both for the safety of Behnken and Doug and the people recovering them from the water."
Here are some of the tweets from NASA.
"Thanks for flying @SpaceX."— NASA (@NASA) August 2, 2020
📍 Current Location: Planet Earth
A 2:48pm ET, @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug splashed down, marking the first splashdown of an American crew spacecraft in 45 years. #LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/zO3KlNwxU3
Today, history was made.@AstroBehnken & @Astro_Doug returned to Earth aboard @SpaceX's Crew Dragon Endeavour, completing their #LaunchAmerica @Commercial_Crew mission and ushering in a new era of human spaceflight: https://t.co/uPa3srrXp4 pic.twitter.com/sP7sxPQXbf— NASA (@NASA) August 3, 2020
"We're both super, super proud having been just a small part of the team that accomplished bringing those spaceflights back to the Florida coast and bringing that capability back to America." @AstroBehnken reflects on his experience with #LaunchAmerica: pic.twitter.com/krxY2iWqE8— NASA (@NASA) August 2, 2020
"Five hours ago we were bobbing around in the Gulf of Mexico."@Astro_Doug reflects on the journey that took him and @AstroBehnken to the @Space_Station and back with the @Commercial_Crew program. #LaunchAmerica pic.twitter.com/E1zzeEunaa— NASA (@NASA) August 2, 2020