“Welcome to Earth, and thank you for flying to SpaceX”, announced the flight director to the American astronauts, who responded immediately. On Sunday August 2 at 8:48 p.m. sharp, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, from the International Space Station (ISS), landed in the Gulf of Mexico aboard a capsule of the private company, belonging to Elon Musk. They were already thes first two astronauts to have reached the ISS aboard an American aircraft in almost 10 years, two months earlier. Since 2011, Americans have been traveling on Russian rockets.
If the Dragon capsule had accomplished this mission empty and without incident, this is the first time that astronauts have traveled to the ISS in the Crew Dragon capsule. The atmospheric reentry notably made it possible to test the resistance of the heat shield, while large parachutes then slowed the descent of the (…)