Behnken and Hurley have expended the past two months aboard the ISS along with NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who experienced earlier flown to the orbiting laboratory aboard a Russian-built Soyuz spacecraft.
The United States is one of the room station’s most important operators, but the place has not had the capability to start its have astronauts to the ISS due to the fact the Place Shuttle plan finished in 2011. Because then, NASA’s astronauts have experienced to travel to Russia and coach on the country’s Soyuz spacecraft on seats that have price tag up to $90 million every.
The journey Behnken and Hurley started in May possibly will not likely be regarded as a achievement till they return properly to Earth. And the voyage home will be just as perilous as the trip to orbit.
Weather conditions permitting, the astronauts will board their Crew Dragon spacecraft on August 1 and shell out a single day slowly descending towards Earth. The subsequent working day, the capsule will slice again via the Earth’s thick environment and deploy parachutes to cushion their landing in the Atlantic ocean.
If done productively, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon car or truck could be formally qualified for human spaceflight missions. (Behnken and Hurley’s journey is regarded a check flight.)
NASA’s choice to set a goal return date is a signal that SpaceX is on observe to have a next Crew Dragon completely ready to fly the to start with operational crewed mission, dubbed Crew-1, this tumble. That mission is slated to take a few NASA astronauts — Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker — and Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut with Japan’s room agency, to the ISS.