25 de septiembre de 2020
English - News

Dragon Endeavour space capsule returns 2 astronauts to Earth from ISS

Miami, Aug 2 (efe-epa).- SpaceX's Dragon Endeavour space capsule, carrying two NASA astronauts - Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley - made a controlled splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday after a 19-hour earthward voyage from the International Space Station.

As scheduled and with no problems of any kind, the capsule parachuted into the ocean at 2:48 pm local time near Pensacola, Florida.

The SpaceX recovery vessel Navigator was positioned just three nautical miles from the splashdown site and was on the scene quickly to recover the capsule as it floated on the calm sea.

The two astronauts, who are both "fine," according to a NASA spokesperson, will undergo medical checkups before being flown to Houston.

Thus ended the historic Demo-2 mission launched on May 30 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and which certified the ability of SpaceX, the company owned by Tesla founder and entrepreneur Elon Musk, to make private commercial space travel a reality.

Behnken and Hurley's was the first space flight from US soil on board a commercial vehicle to the ISS since NASA ended its space shuttle program in 2011. Since that time, the US has ferried astronauts and supplies to the ISS on board Russian rockets and space capsules, although it has mounted uncrewed cargo resupply flights to the orbiting platform using SpaceX vehicles.

Before entering the Earth's atmosphere prior to touchdown, the Dragon Endeavour capsule separated from the cargo structure, which later disintegrated on reentry, thus reducing its weight to 21,200 pounds (about 9,600 kilograms).

Then, it made a maneuver to leave orbit and after entering the atmosphere two parachutes were deployed to slow it down, with more parachutes deploying later to guide it gently to the waves below.

Six other sites had been readied to receive the Dragon capsule, if it could not have landed near Pensacola, although the area in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida had been ruled out as a landing zone due to the passage of Tropical Storm Isaias.

The Dragon capsule had disengaged automatically from the ISS at 2335 GMT on Saturday to begin its flight back to Earth.

Behnken and Hurley, who slept for eight of the 19 hours it took the capsule to return to Earth, were awakened Sunday morning by Mission Control with an audio tape of both men's children, according to a statement issued by NASA.

In all, the pair spent 62 days on board the ISS during which the orbital platform made 1,024 orbits of the planet. They spent 114 hours performing research and witnessed the arrival and departure of several space vehicles at the ISS, NASA said.

Behnken participated in four spacewalks with another NASA astronaut, Chris Cassidy, who remains on board the ISS.

Although the trip into orbit was historic, so was the return to Earth, since this was the first time in 45 years that people on US territory could actually view the splashdown of a crewed space vehicle, the last time being on July 21, 1975, when the crew of an Apollo-Soyuz mission splashed down very near Hawaii.

In 2014, NASA signed contracts worth $6.8 billion with Boeing and SpaceX to develop a commercial space travel program, thus aiming to end US dependence on Russia's Soyuz capsules to get US astronauts into orbit after the end of the space shuttle program.


Histórico de noticias
Congress delegation to inspect ICE detention center on unwanted surgeries

Atlanta, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A US congressional delegation on the weekend will inspect the Irwin County Detention Center in southern Georgia to investigate...

Costa Rica increasing its protected ocean territory

By Maria Jose Brenes

Trump booed while paying respects before Ginsburg's casket at Supreme Court

Washington, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- A large crowd loudly booed President Donald Trump on Thursday during his visit to the Supreme Court, where the late Justice...

Why Brazil's Pantanal is having the worst fires in recent decades

By Carlos Meneses Sanchez

Trump: November election result will end up in Supreme Court

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he believes the result of the November presidential election will end up in the...

US begins test of Covid-19 vaccine with 60,000 volunteers

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Janssen Pharmaceutica, owned by US multinational Johnson & Johnson, on Wednesday launched one of the world's largest tests of...

Trump prohibits Americans from staying in 400-plus hotels in Cuba

Washington, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Cuba, prohibiting Americans from staying in hotels on the...

Migrant who reported sterilization at US detention center released

Atlanta, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Pauline Binam, one of the immigrants who complained that they had been sterilized against their will at a migrant detention...

Debate about high court vacancy heats up US election climate

By Laura Barros

Trump registered his trademark in 2008 in Cuba to build hotels, casinos

Miami, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump registered his business trademark in Cuba in 2008 with an eye toward building hotels, casinos and golf...

Typed draft of Neruda sonnet found

Santiago, Sep 22 (efe-epa).- A preliminary typewritten and signed version of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's 1965 sonnet "Sangre de Toro" (Blood of the Bull)...

UN celebrates 75th anniversary with lackluster summit amid problems

By Mario Villar

Trump insists he'll fill Supreme Court vacancy, despite nearness of election

Washington, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that he will quickly replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg...

"Ultra-Hot Neptune," new exoplanet 260 light years from Earth

Santiago, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- An investigation headed by Chilean scientists has discovered the first so-called "Ultra-Hot Neptune," a type of exoplanet...

Brazilian government calls for halt to "Cuties" screenings, Netflix probe

Rio de Janeiro, Sep 21 (efe-epa).- The Jair Bolsonaro administration on Monday called for a halt to local screenings of the French film "Mignonnes"...

DeChambeau scores decisive win in US Open

Mamaroneck, New York, Sep 20 (efe-epa).- US golfer Bryson DeChambeau won his first major tourney on Sunday in decisive fashion, sweeping to victory in the...

Colombian police receiving yoga workshops to manage emotions on the job

By Jeimmy Paola Sierra

Gasoline shortage in Venezuela, new weapon in ongoing political fight

By Ron Gonzalez

At least 17 migrant women subjected to unnecessary surgeries at US detention center

Atlanta, Sep 16 (efe-epa).- At least 17 women were subjected to unnecessary surgeries, including hysterectomies, at a migrant detention center in Georgia, a...

Firefighters continue battling blazes across California

By Alex Segura Lozano

Six months of quarantine, an eternity in Venezuela

By Sabela Bello

After court reversal, TPS beneficiaries seek to be heard in US

By Luis Uribe

Apple unveils all-new iPad Air with advanced chip, but holds off on iPhone

By Marc Arcas

Authorities concerned over forest fire near Los Angeles

By Alex Segura Lozano