Four NASA astronauts have today safely landed a SpaceX capsule, marking the agency’s second completed long-duration commercial crew mission to the International Space Station (ISS), located some 400 kilometres away.
Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Florida, having established a brand new record for the longest spaceflight by a spacecraft manned by a US crew.
Unfortunately, due to a faulty toilet design, the capsule, named Endeavour, didn’t have a bathroom onboard, meaning the crew were forced to wear nappies for the duration of their return journey.
This unpleasant aspect of their trip didn’t appear to dampen their spirits, and the four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts could be seen smiling as they emerged from the capsule.
NASA administrator Bill Nelson said:
We’re happy to have Shane, Megan, Aki, and Thomas safely back on Earth after another successful, record-setting long-duration mission to the International Space Station.
Congratulations to the teams at NASA and SpaceX who worked so hard to ensure their successful splashdown. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program continues to demonstrate safe, reliable transportation to conduct important science and maintenance on the space station.
Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet reportedly travelled around 84,653,119 statute miles during the course of their record-breaking mission. They spent 198 days aboard the ISS, and completed a dizzying 3,194 orbits around Planet Earth.
Going forward, they will now fly back to NASA’s Houston-based Johnson Space Center, while Endeavour will be transported to SpaceX’s Dragon Lair in Florida Endeavour for inspection and processing.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]