SpaceX capsule departs International Space Station

11 March, 2019, 11:42 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Elon Musk's SpaceX capsule splashes down off Florida coastMore

Nasa has seed-funded Boeing to produce a capsule of its own called the Starliner.

It was a crucial milestone in the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Commercial Crew Program ahead of SpaceX's first crewed test flight slated to launch in July with US astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

NASA shared a video of the SpaceX Crew Dragon reentry and splashdown this morning, completing Demo-1 flight test in its entirety.

Five hours later, when it was safely away from the ISS, Crew Dragon jettisoned its lower trunk section to burn up in space.

After launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket and traveling to the International Space Station (ISS) earlier this week, the spacecraft has now returned to Earth.

Canadian station astronaut David Saint-Jacques was the first to enter the Dragon capsule when it arrived and the last to leave.

While the space world was busy congratulating SpaceX and NASA last Saturday, Roskomos tweeted only the following day, praising the United States space agency (not SpaceX) but insisting the "safety of flights should be irreproachable", a pointed reference to technical objections Russians had raised on Dragon's approach procedure towards the ISS.

The Crew Dragon during atmospheric re-entry. Boeing received $4.2 billion to build the CST-100 spacecraft and SpaceX received $2.6 billion to build its Dragon V2 spacecraft, or Crew Dragon. After a half-hour freefall, the spacecraft slammed into the top of the thick lower atmosphere at a velocity of almost five miles per second.

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The re-entry into Earth's atmosphere will test its heat shield for the first time.

Company founder Elon Musk said during a post-launch news conference last Saturday that the capsule's hypersonic entry, along with launch, rendezvous and docking, posed the greatest risks. Land off the West Coast and you have to truck or fly your Dragon all the way across the country to get it back to Cape Canaveral and readied for another launch. Dragon Crew is making history for all sorts of reasons. "I think it's unlikely; we've run simulations a thousand times. And will the system guide Dragon 2 to the right location and splashdown safely?" he asked. That reentry appeared to go as planned, with the spacecraft first deploying two drogue parachutes followed by its four main ones.

The Crew Dragon capsule is heading back to Earth after spending a week docked at the ISS.

A pair of recovery ships was stationed in the Atlantic well before splashdown and quickly moved in, lifting the capsule from the water within an hour.

The Demo 1 was the first flight test for the Crew Dragon craft that is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon craft during its recovery from the Atlantic Ocean following its splash landing after returning to Earth from the International Space Station.

- First autonomous docking of a US spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The short-notice solicitation, posted on February 13, "provides flexibility and back-up capability" as the companies build their rocket-and-capsule launch systems.

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