US astronauts pack up for rare splashdown return in SpaceX capsule

US astronauts pack up for exceptional splashdown return in SpaceX capsule

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Two U.S. astronauts about to make the 1st splashdown return in 45 years explained Friday they’ll have seasick bags ready to use if necessary.

SpaceX and NASA program to convey Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken back again Sunday afternoon in the company’s Dragon capsule, aiming for the Gulf of Mexico just off the Florida Panhandle. Flight controllers are trying to keep close observe on Hurricane Isaias, expected to stick to Florida’s east coastline.

Hurley mentioned if he and Behnken get sick while bobbing in the waves awaiting recovery, it won’t be the 1st time for a crew. Astronauts returning in the early 1970s from Skylab, NASA’s initial area station, did not experience nicely following splashdown, Hurley mentioned.

Sensation ill “is the way it is with a drinking water landing,” he reported during the crew’s final information convention from the International Room Station.

This will be SpaceX’s first splashdown with astronauts on board, ending a two-month check flight that commenced May 30 at NASA’s Kennedy Area Centre — the first launch of a crew from the U.S. in approximately a decade. The capsule has been docked at the house station considering that May perhaps 31, making it possible for Hurley and Behnken to chip in with spacewalks and experiments.

Hurley stated the crisis and other gear has checked out properly aboard Dragon, dubbed Endeavour. Launch and rendezvous went flawlessly, “so we expect absolutely nothing distinctive for the splashdown,” he reported.

Their departure leaves three on board, a single American and two Russians.

Following splashdown, it will take an hour or so before the capsule is hauled by crane onto a SpaceX recovery ship, in which the hatch will be opened and the astronauts will get out. Flight surgeons will be amid the dozens of the recovery team users.

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The strategy is for the Dragon to undock from the area station on Saturday, a working day before splashdown. The key target is off the coastline of Panama Town, midway involving Tallahassee and Pensacola.

“We will not leave the space station with out some fantastic landing chances in front of us, fantastic splashdown weather,” Behnken advised reporters. “We could continue to be up listed here extended. There is additional chow and I know the room station program’s bought much more get the job done that we can do.”

Like start, the trip back again will be fundamentally automated, with the crew and flight controllers intervening only if essential.

Behnken has an excess motive to carry this Dragon back in excellent condition. Adhering to refurbishment, the capsule will fly again following spring with a crew of four — including his wife, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur. SpaceX’s upcoming astronaut flight is targeted for the close of September.

Behnken said even just before his launch, they had an inkling she would be assigned to a SpaceX flight. NASA announced the news this 7 days.

“And of system, I’ll have a good deal of ideas for her,” he mentioned.

Hurley is married to not too long ago retired NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg.

NASA turned to SpaceX and Boeing for U.S.-centered crew transport after the space shuttles retired in 2011. Russian rockets ended up the only way for astronauts to get to the room station right until SpaceX became the first private corporation to start humans into orbit two months ago. Boeing’s initial crew flight is not predicted until eventually upcoming yr.

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