Two astronauts Doug Hurley, and Bob Behnken are getting ready to come back home after being in the orbit for almost 2 months. According to the confirmed sources, they both have left the international space station, and are scheduled to return on Sunday.
Space X, a private rocket company has taken the initiative to bring back the astronauts home. The company is started by Elon musk, which made a crew Dragon capsule. According to the sources, both astronauts aboard the capsule which is scheduled to unlock from the international space station on Saturday night.
Doug Hurley thanked the team and the crew of the space station that managed everything related to the mission. Both the astronauts feeling proud and happy to come back home.
Everyone is looking forward to this splashdown. But it mainly depends on the weather conditions however, According to the calculations done by NASA scientists, the capsule will reach down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday evening. On the other hand, hurricane Isaias is also forecasted by weather experts.
SpaceX and NASA scientists have marked seven sites for this splashdown in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The matter of concern is that out of these seven sites, three are in the range of the storm. Everyone is hoping for their safe return. On 1st August 2020, Mr. Hurley tweeted an image of the hurricane. He said that people should be aware of the hurricane and stay safe throughout the storm. He even who that it should not affect their return on Sunday.
Whereas, the other astronaut Bob told that if they do not have any good lending opportunity then they do not leave the space station. He also encourages the team on the ground which is managing the mission.
How to watch the return of astronauts?
The coverage of splashdown will be available on various video platforms. NASA‘s television coverage will help you to watch the return of astronauts.
What will astronauts do after leaving the space station?
After performing a series of burns and connecting with the team which is managing this splashdown site, the capsule will move from the space station, and throughout the whole journey which can take many hours, the astronaut’s bob and Hurley will be sleeping most of the time. Even it is necessary for the crew members and the managing team to get some rest before it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
What will happen in the Earth’s atmosphere?
Trunk, the bottom part of the spacecraft, will burn up in the atmosphere just before the final burn. The crew Dragon capsule will be traveling at a speed of more than 17,000 mph. But when the spacecraft will enter the earth‘s atmosphere it will slow down its speed to 350 mph, and at an altitude of 18,000 feet, two parachutes will be deployed from the crew Dragon. Moreover, it will deploy four main parachutes after reaching the attitude of 6000 feet.
But when the capsule which flashes down in the water, it will take around 50 to 60 minutes to bring them out.
Does hurricane Isaias have any effect on the departure?
Yes, there are some complications between the storm and the landing of the Crew Dragon. According to the weather experts and scientists, the speed of the wind should be less than 10 mph at the place of a splash, and its Landing also depends on various aspects including thunder, rain, and wave tides. Even the helicopter that is taking part in the landing should also be able to fly in the weather.
From the above-mentioned reasons, it is clear that weather conditions play an important role in the landing. The team is aiming the landing at the primary site, Pensacola. However, if some weather issues occurred, then the astronauts will have to remain in the space for one more day.
Which one is safer for landing, water, or land?
According to the officials, the spacecraft can land anywhere. During the 1960s and 70s, NASA’s capsules including Apollo, Gemini, and mercury all landed in the ocean. Whereas, Russians always try to land their capsules on the ground.
NASA and SpaceX have already decided to land it on the water to simplify the development of the capsule.
How is the return trip of the Crew Dragon’s first flight important?
A successful return on the Crew Dragon will surely open many doors to the other people who are willing to fly in the space. Moreover, some companies, have already made plans to use crew Dragon for the tourists.
It is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous phases to return the spacecraft safely in the earth’s atmosphere. The heat and fiction that most fear makes it very difficult to stay in the atmosphere.
Last year, the engineers tested flight which was a successful attempt, so this time they know how the system works. They are making every possible attempt to bring the spacecraft as well as astronauts safe back home.
About Crew Dragon and next trips
The astronaut’s Bob and hardly went into space in May. The mission was only to stay there for a couple of weeks but due to the delays of SpaceX, and some other reasons they ended up in this space for two months.
The scientists have already planned to launch the first operational flight the crew Dragon in September now it will take three astronauts including Shannon Walker, victor J Glover, and Michael Hopkins. Even a Japanese astronaut, S. Noguchi will also assist them in the space station and the tentative schedule for the second operation flight is planned for February 2021.