One of the most historical space adventures of the United States of America is now completed. We’re talking about the Demo-2, the space launch that joined two astronauts in the Crew Dragon capsule made by SpaceX and supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Both of the astronauts in the said space mission had safely and quickly returned to Earth, without any major issues on its landing. Here’s what happened.
Crew Dragon capsule is back!
On Sunday, Aug. 2, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley safely returned to Earth using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule. Space and NASA officially declared it on the same day.
The historic two-months stay of both astronauts in space had been a successful ride, according to The Verge. On May 30, the Demo-2 mission has started. Both of the astronauts were tucked inside the Crew Dragon capsule that costs $2.7 billion.
The mission was clear. Launch Behnken and Hurley to space using the capsule. They need to stay in the International Space Station (ISS) for over 60 days and safely return to Earth using the same vehicle. To be successful, the capsule needs to survive an extremely raging 3,500 degree-Fahrenheit heat from the Earth’s temperature. The partnership between the space agency and the privately-owned company proved that the USA can now launch and return its people from space to Earth, without the help of any countries outside their country.
You see, the human spaceflight program was not entirely completed by America alone. In the past, NASA relies on Russia’s Soyuz rocket to launch astronauts in the space station. These missions cost a lot more than the SpaceX partnership. In the Soyuz rocket, the space agency needs over $80 million. Meanwhile, with the Demo-2, they only released $55 million for the mission.
Astronauts Behnken and Hurley shockingly overcame all these steps on a mission and landed at 2:48 p.m. ET wherein they parachuted in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Florida.
Shortly after 4 PM, the crew of SpaceX and NASA recovered the alive astronauts of the Demo-2 mission and the Crew Dragon capsule itself– with extremely great shape.
The crew returns the flag
Aside from the astronauts’ safe well-being, and the rocket’s good shape so far, Behnken and Hurley also returned a historical US flag from the ISS. The background of the US flag happened nine years ago. This flag was left by the Space Shuttle crew back in 2011.
The space crew at the time instructed that only Americans that will next return in the station, will be the ones that will retrieve the small flag. No one else. And now Crew Dragon astronauts returned the flag safely.
What happens next?
As of now, since both were now back on Earth, the astronauts will fly their way to Houston– wherein their families reside. Behnken and Hurley shared that they were most excited to come home due to their children waiting for them.
“I think for me, and probably for Doug as well, I think we’re really excited to see our families,” Behnken said prior to his return. “My son is 6 years old and I can tell from the videos that I get and talking to him on the phone that he’s changed a lot even in the just couple months that we’ve been up here.”
So for now; congratulations, America!