Reuters.- American astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who were sent to the International Space Station in SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule, landed on Sunday in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico at the end of NASA’s first manned mission in nine years.
Behnken and Hurley took off from the orbital station on Saturday and returned to Earth, off the coast of Pensacola in Florida, at 2:28 p.m. local time, after travel for 21 hours aboard the capsule “Endeavor”.
The successful landing was the last major test of Elon Musk’s signature spacecraft to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
“On behalf of the NASA and SpaceX teams, we welcome you on your return to planet Earth. Thanks for flying SpaceX, ”said the company’s control mission at the end of the trip.
For the return operation, the onboard thrusters and two sets of parachutes worked simultaneously to slow down the capsule’s journey, allowing astronauts to re-enter the atmosphere into the spacecraft approaching speeds of up to 25,000 km / h. The impact of the landing was calculated at about 24 kilometers per hour.
The two astronauts will spend an hour floating inside the capsule until they are picked up by SpaceX and NASA teams from a helicopter. They will undergo medical check-ups on their way to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
Musk, a billionaire businessman, made SpaceX the first private company to send humans into orbit with the flight of Behnken and Hurley, who spent more than two months on the International Space Station.
It was the first time that the US space agency sent humans into space since the withdrawal of its shuttle program in 2011. Since then, the United States has relied on Russia’s space program to send its astronauts to the space station.
Joey Roulette report. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo.
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