The historic partnership mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be soon ending partially. The remarkable Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on Aug. 2. What can we expect from this short space mission?
‘Endeavour’ comes back
CNBC reported on Friday, July 17, that NASA is planning to return the astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth at the start of the month of August. After their two-week trip to the International Space Station (ISS), the agency said that they are doing their best to schedule the return trip of the two astronauts.
NASA Johnson Space Center public affairs rep Kyle Herring said the official date of their return but clarified that a lot of things are still pending to be created within the time frame of their stay in ISS. The official departure of the astronauts will be on Aug. 1 and splashdown will be scheduled on Aug. 2.
The spacecraft, which the astronauts’ named Endeavour, carried by the Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Florida on May 30. NASA called it a “phenomenal demonstration of American excellence” since it was the first time that the country conducted a space mission, held in the USA with American astronauts.
“Today a new era in human spaceflight begins as we once again launched American astronauts on American rockets from American soil on their way to the International Space Station, our national lab orbiting Earth,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “I thank and congratulate Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, and the SpaceX and NASA teams for this significant achievement for the United States. The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the Moon and Mars.”
What’s the purpose of the launch?
The ‘Demo 2’ was only considered as a test-drive in the American space mission. This was the reason why only two people joined the exploration.
NASA intends to review all the data that both astronauts discovered before the Crew-1 mission will be held. On this mission, the expected number of astronauts joining the team will be up to four people.
Tech Crunch reported that ever since the arrival of the two American astronauts, both of them already completed four spacewalks, with the advantage of being a huge help for maintenance and scientific jobs at the station.
We’re not yet sure what may happen
Though the mission is now near to its end and will be returning now to Earth, the return flight is still in a critical phase. And precautions may still be found during the return flight.
The Crew Dragon capsule must do automated undocking and return flight maneuvers once the mission of return flight proceeds. Another thing that they may have to face is the weather conditions in the return flight. August was chosen as the month of their return as researchers found this month to have the calmer wind in the target splashdown area.
Hope that helps.