Monday, February 6th, 2023

SpaceX Crew Dragon’s Smooth Return Ride Experience

Astronauts part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s (SpaceX) Crew-2 mission that safely returned from the International Space Station (ISS) this month described their experiences on the latter’s Crew Dragon vehicle during atmospheric reentry and landing. The Crew-2, an international team of astronauts from North America, Europe and Asia, took to the skies more than six months back. Their return tested the limits of SpaceX’s Dragon 2 spacecraft, which is the only American spacecraft capable of sending astronauts into low Earth orbit (LEO).

The astronauts’ comments on their travel and the experiments conducted onboard the ISS was made during a teleconference on NASA’s YouTube television live stream early morning yesterday. They are the latest in a series of remarks made by nearly every member of the Commercial Crew Program that has flown into space since the Dragon’s first crewed spaceflight in 2020.

The astronaut talked about Crew-2 training and shared their experience while the Falcon 9 ascended to the skies and turned off its engines for main engine cutoff.

He described the training and launch experiences to Kyoto News by stating:

So um yeah, so we trained a year prior to launch on the Crew Dragon capsule. But mainly you know Shane and Megan as a commander and a pilot they’ve been trained how to operate the spacecraft, you know when to take over, what to do if something happens. Thomas and I were more focused on the inside, what to do with the spacesuit and all the cargo packing. And if something happens then how to support Shane and Megan. That training  I think was great. You know SpaceX did a great job focusing on what we need. It wasn’t a very long training period but nevertheless we got what we needed. The launch and landing itself it’s just like another spacecraft, but it was smooth, I think it was more responsive that’s what’s I remember going up hill, you know the acceleration and deceleration, that was like, it was like a joyride. I still remember that day when up all four of us were whoop, yayy just cheering and giggling all the way until MECO [Main Engine Cutoff].

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