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Splashdown! SpaceX And NASA Astronauts Make History
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skyblue1 Offline
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Splashdown! SpaceX And NASA Astronauts Make History
Two NASA astronauts are back on Earth after their space capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.

The last time any NASA astronauts came home by splashing down was in 1975 — and back then, they were in an Apollo space vehicle. This time, the astronauts were in a white, bell-shaped capsule owned by SpaceX.

The success of their test flight, to the International Space Station and back, is a milestone for SpaceX, the first private company to send people to the outpost.

The company has been taking cargo to and from the station for years. This flight with people on board was the final test for SpaceX's crew system to be certified by NASA as "operational" for future astronaut missions.

That means the U.S. once again has its own ability to put people in orbit and return them safely. Since retiring its space shuttles in 2011, NASA has had to buy seats for its astronauts on Russian spaceships, but NASA can now rely on an American space taxi that takes off from Florida.

"This was a great day for NASA and a great day for the United States of America," said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine in a post-splashdown press conference. "We are entering a new era of human spaceflight where NASA is no longer the purchaser, owner, and operator of all of the hardware. We are going to be a customer — one customer of many customers in a very robust commercial marketplace for human spaceflight to low Earth orbit."

NASA is already assigning astronauts to future SpaceX missions — including Megan McArthur, who happens to be married to one of the just-returned astronauts, Bob Behnken. In fact, she is expected to ride in the exact same spacecraft next year, as the SpaceX capsules are designed to be reusable to bring down costs.





More:

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/02/898330964...ke-history

I'm not anti-social; I'm just not user friendly.
08-08-2020 03:23 AM
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142857 Offline
Who's your Daddy?

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RE: Splashdown! SpaceX And NASA Astronauts Make History
Excellent. Hopefully the age of exploration continues.
08-08-2020 09:24 AM
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