SpaceX Capsule With NASA Astronauts Splashdown In Gulf Of Mexico

Nasa astronauts set for first splashdown return in 45 years

SpaceX Capsule With NASA Astronauts Splashdown In Gulf Of Mexico

Their proposed splash-down sites are off the coast of western Florida's panhandle, while tropical storm Isaias is headed toward the state's east coast.

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Bob Behnken rehearse crew extraction from SpaceX's Crew Dragon, which will be used to carry humans to the International Space Station, on August 13, 2019 at the Trident Basin in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Conditions are "Go" at the primary targeted site, in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola, and alternate site off the coast of Panama City for splashdown and recovery Sunday afternoon.

The SpaceX capsule will be landing on August 2nd 2020.

Two US astronauts who flew to the International Space Station (ISS) in SpaceX's space ship have splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico following a two-month voyage. The reason it requires such a long trip from time of departure to when it land is the ocean is that it needs to slow down from a starting speed of around 17,500 miles per hour when it departs the ISS. Hurley was the pilot of that final shuttle mission in July 2011.

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Hoping to galvanise a commercial space marketplace, Nasa awarded almost US$8 billion to SpaceX and Boeing Co collectively in 2014 to develop dueling space capsules, experimenting with a contract model that allows the space agency to buy astronaut seats from the two companies.

Crew Dragon returned to Earth the two astronauts along with about 150 kilograms of equipment, primarily science payloads being returned to researchers.

SpaceX needs six weeks to inspect the capsule before launching the next crew around the end of September. A smattering of private vessels sailed through the landing zone, complicating the recovery effort.

The splashdown has ushered in a new era for Nasa, which now has at least one commercial spacecraft ready to launch astronauts into space from USA soil.

SpaceX made history with this mission, which launched May 30 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

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NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Doug Hurley are pictured moments before boarding Crew Dragon.

"Thank you again from the Good Ship Endeavour", Behnken told mission controllers. The astronauts brought a small stuffed dinosaur, nicknamed Tremor, with them on the journey and pledged to bring it back to their sons, Jack and Theo.

Upon splashdown, SpaceX recovery forces will converge on the capsule, connect it to tow and lift lines, and bring it aboard GO Searcher.

Boeing hopes to perform a second uncrewed spaceflight, which the company will fund itself, no earlier than late this year.

"Don't worry, you can sleep in tomorrow", said Behnken's 6-year-old son Theo, who was promised a puppy after the flight. But the most important part is bringing us home'.

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