Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, who flew to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon capsule, return home after two months. A ceremonial farewell to the astronauts has ended. The broadcast could be watched on TVN24 GO.
On May 30, the Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon ship into orbit with Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard. For the first time, astronauts were launched into space by a ship manufactured by a private company – SpaceX. A day later, the two astronauts boarded the International Space Station (ISS).
Behnken and Hurley spent two months at the station. On Saturday they started going home. Its first point was the solemn farewell that began at 15.10 Polish time. The broadcast of this event with translation into Polish could be watched on TVN24 GO.
Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley received the US flag during a solemn farewell. “This flag has spent some time here, about nine years since we returned to the ISS. I am proud that we will bring her back home, we will see what will happen next, how will it go to the moon, ”said Douglas Hurley.
– It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to be part of this expedition, it will be a lifetime memory – he emphasized.
“Right now, as Doug mentioned, we’re going to begin the final part of our journey. The hardest part was launching us into space, but the most important part is getting us home, ‘pointed out Robert Behnken.
Back to Earth
Later on Saturday, at 11:15 PM, the proper return procedure is to begin. The astronauts will take their places in the Dragon capsule, the same one they flew into the ISS, then detach from the station and set a course back to Earth.
The capsule will fly into the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 27,000 kilometers per hour. As a result of friction of particles in the atmosphere and air compression, resistance will be created that slows down and at the same time heats the outer part of the capsule to a temperature of up to 1600 degrees Celsius. The ship is covered with a heat shield that will protect the crew from the heat.
In the next stage, Dragon will open four parachutes that will reduce its descent speed. Thanks to this, the capsule will be able to land in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Florida. It is to happen on Sunday at 20.42 Polish time.
A search and rescue team will be waiting for the astronauts on board the SpaceX GO Navigator. They will help the crew get out of the capsule, and will also pull the capsule out of the ocean, which will be subjected to detailed examination.
Main photo source: ENEX