Astronauts Doing Well Inside Crew Dragon Spacecraft

NASA astronaut Doug Hurley reported to SpaceX that he and crewmate Bob Behnken are doing fine inside the Crew Dragon “Endeavour,” which is now on the deck of the company’s recovery vessel, “GO Navigator.”

“We’re good; keep doing what you’re doing,” Hurley said.

Recovery teams are continuing a purge of the spacecraft’s service section in order to bring trace readings of remaining hypergol vapors all the way down to zero prior to opening the side hatch. The service section is located between the pressure vessel – the cabin in which Behnken and Hurley are patiently waiting – and the outer surface of the spacecraft.

Behnken and Hurley splashed down safely in the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. EDT, bringing to an end the NASA SpaceX Demo-2 mission to the International Space Station.

Crew Dragon Safely Aboard Recovery Vessel

Recovery personnel prepare to open the SpaceX Crew Dragon's side hatch.
Recovery personnel prepare to open the SpaceX Crew Dragon’s side hatch. Image credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley still inside, has been hoisted onto the deck of the company’s “GO Navigator” recovery vessel.

The Dragon Endeavour shortly after it was hoisted from the Gulf of Mexico on the deck of the SpaceX recovery vessel "GO Navigator."
Dragon Endeavour shortly after it was hoisted from the Gulf of Mexico on the deck of the SpaceX recovery vessel “GO Navigator.” Image credit: NASA TV

Right now, the team is monitoring remnant vapors around the spacecraft and working to purge its service section prior to opening the hatch for the astronauts inside.

Crew Dragon “Endeavour” splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. EDT. It is the first time a commercially built and operated American crew spacecraft has returned from the International Space Station to complete a test flight, beginning a new era in human spaceflight.

SpaceX Recovery Vessel Approaches Crew Dragon

Fastboats surround the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule following its 2:48 p.m. EDT splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
A recovery fastboat is seen alongside the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule following its 2:48 p.m. EDT splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. Image credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX recovery vessel, “GO Navigator,” is expected to reach the Crew Dragon spacecraft in about 20 minutes. The rigging needed to pull the vehicle out of the water is being affixed. NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 crew members, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, report that they can see the fastboat personnel working outside their spacecraft.

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Splashdown: Recovery Operations Underway

Fast boats move toward the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft following its splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
Fast boats move toward the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft following its splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. Image credit: NASA TV

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley report they are feeling good inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft following splashdown minutes ago in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.

The recovery process should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Two fast boats carrying SpaceX personnel have deployed from the main recovery ship and are on their way to the Crew Dragon. The first boat will check the spacecraft and test for hazardous vapors in the immediate area. After they determine it’s safe, the Crew Dragon will be readied for recovery. Meanwhile, those aboard the second fast boat will recover the spacecraft’s parachutes from the water. The main recovery ship will hoist the Crew Dragon onto the deck, and once the hatch is opened, medical teams will check out the astronauts and help them out of the spacecraft.

 

SPLASHDOWN! NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 Test Flight Complete

NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission has ended with the Crew Dragon spacecraft successfully splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley remain safely inside the spacecraft as recovery ships move toward them. This is the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the International Space Station.

“And Endeavour, on behalf of the SpaceX and NASA teams, welcome back to planet Earth, and thanks for flying SpaceX,” said SpaceX Crew Operations and Resources Engineer (CORE) Mike Heiman.

The Crew Dragon undocked from the International Space Station yesterday at 7:35 p.m. EDT, ending more than two months of docked operations at the orbiting laboratory during NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission. Hurley and Behnken arrived at the orbiting laboratory in the Crew Dragon May 31 following a launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 30 – the first flight of American astronauts on an American-built spacecraft from American soil in nearly a decade.

Demo-2 tested the performance of the entire SpaceX crew transportation system, from launch to docking to splashdown. It was the final flight test for the system to be certified for regular crew flights to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Chutes Deployed!

Under the canopy of its four main parachutes, the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley is descending toward a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, Florida. Recovery ships are standing by. NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission, the final flight test for the SpaceX crew transportation system for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, is nearly complete.

Communications Re-established with Crew Dragon; Minutes to Splashdown

NASA and SpaceX support teams onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship prepare for the landing of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 in the Gulf of Mexico off the cost of Pensacola, Florida.
NASA and SpaceX support teams onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship prepare for the landing of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 in the Gulf of Mexico off the cost of Pensacola, Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

As expected, controllers have acquired the signal from the SpaceX Crew Dragon and spoken with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley.

The next milestone will be the deployment of parachutes, coming up in about two minutes. Dragon Endeavour has two sets of parachutes will that deploy once back inside Earth’s atmosphere to slow down prior to splashdown. Two drogue parachutes will deploy at about 18,000 feet in altitude while Crew Dragon is moving approximately 350 miles per hour. Four main parachutes will deploy at about 6,000 feet in altitude while Crew Dragon is moving approximately 119 miles per hour.

 

Crew Dragon Enters Expected Communications Blackout

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavor” spacecraft during the deorbit burn.
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavor” spacecraft during the deorbit burn. Image credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is entering an expected, temporary communications blackout now as the spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard, continues on its path back to Earth. As Dragon Endeavour enters the atmosphere and the capsule reaches temperatures around 3500 degrees Fahrenheit, the friction builds up plasma around the spacecraft, preventing data from being sent or received. Communications is expected to be re-established before splashdown.

Splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, is expected at approximately 2:48 p.m. EDT.

Crew Dragon En Route to Splashdown

SpaceX support teams are deployed on fast boats from the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship ahead of the landing of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 in the Gulf of Mexico off the cost of Pensacola, Florida.
SpaceX support teams are deployed on fast boats from the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship ahead of the landing of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley onboard, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020 in the Gulf of Mexico off the cost of Pensacola, Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Crew Dragon carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley is continuing its journey from Earth orbit to a splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. The spacecraft currently is flying 132 miles above the Pacific Ocean and will soon cross Central America on its course toward the Gulf of Mexico.

“The burn went great,” SpaceX Crew Operations and Resources Engineer (CORE) Mike Heiman called up to the crew. “Your vehicle is still looking really good for entry.”

“OK, Dragon copies,” Hurley replied. “Thank you.”

Crew Dragon’s Nosecone Closed

NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, foreground, and Robert Behnken inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavor” spacecraft.
NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, foreground, and Robert Behnken inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavor” spacecraft. Image credit: NASA TV

The SpaceX Crew Dragon’s nosecone has closed in preparation for re-entry. The spacecraft is on its way toward a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, at approximately 2:48 p.m. EDT.