Air Freight News

SpaceX touches down in Florida, returning 4 astronauts from ISS

SpaceX returned four astronauts from the International Space Station late Monday after NASA was forced to alter its crews’ launch and landing schedule due to disruptive weather over the past two weeks.

NASA’s Crew-2 mission splashed down at 10:33 p.m. ET in a SpaceX Crew Dragon off the coast of Pensacola, Florida after an eight-hour journey from the station, completing a 199-day research mission in space. The Dragon slows down by deploying two sets of parachutes after entering the atmosphere. SpaceX is retrieving the crew with ships and taking them back to shore.

The astronauts’ return to Earth had originally been set to occur after the launch of the next Crew-3 mission, with a formal handover aboard the orbital laboratory. But the next crews’ launch has been delayed several times by unfavorable weather conditions. NASA and SpaceX are planning to launch the four Crew-3 astronauts on Nov. 10 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After undocking at 2:05 p.m. ET, the Crew-2 astronauts performed a 90-minute fly-around of the station to shoot photographs to help mission controllers visually inspect parts of the ISS not covered by exterior cameras.

Thomas Pesquet, a European Space Agency astronaut assigned to Crew-2, said last week at a news conference that the photo inspection wasn’t prompted by two recent incidents when the ISS lost attitude control and began rotating. Both episodes, in July and October, were caused by unplanned thruster firings on a Russian service module and a Russian Soyuz capsule attached to the station.

NASA and Russia’s space agency last performed such an exterior photo inspection in 2018 with a departing Soyuz capsule.



© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

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