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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon makes historic landing in Atlantic Ocean
After docking at the International Space Station, the unmanned capsule executed a fiery and carefully choreographed return to Earth.
Crew Dragon has successfully completed its six-day mission designed to test whether the capsule is fit to transport humans to the ISS.
SpaceX and NASA collaborated on the mission, which signals an end of U.S. reliance on Russian spacecraft to transport astronauts to the space station.
Boeing also is working with NASA to execute missions to the space station, and plans to conduct similar tests in the coming months.
SpaceX's commercial astronaut capsule, the Crew Dragon, successfully landed in the Atlantic Ocean Friday morning after being docked at the International Space Station for the past week.
It's a historic achievement for SpaceX, which hopes to someday transport humans to space on the Crew Dragon, and also for NASA, which collaborated with SpaceX on the mission. The mission also signals an end to U.S. reliance on Russian spacecraft to transport astronauts to the ISS, since NASA retired the final Space Shuttle in 2011.
In the final hours of Crew Dragon's six-day test mission, the capsule detached from the ISS early Friday morning, burned thrusters to point itself toward the landing zone, endured a fiery re-entry through Earth's atmosphere, and deployed parachutes to cushion its ocean landing, about 200 miles off the coast of Florida.
The unmanned, 26-foot-long capsule landed in the ocean on schedule at 8:45 a.m. and was then placed on its "nest" — a spot on the deck of SpaceX's GO Searcher recovery ship. It was the first Atlantic Ocean landing of a capsule meant for humans in nearly 50 years, NASA said, with the last such incident being the Apollo 9 splashdown on March 13, 1969.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the mission was "an amazing achievement in American history" and that it was the "dawning of a new era in American human space flight."
Crew Dragon was carrying 400 pounds of cargo and a dummy passenger named Ripley — after Sigourney Weaver's character in the Alien films. Ripley was outfitted with sensors that'll give NASA and SpaceX officials an idea of how human astronauts would have fared during the mission. After all, the Dragon's heat shield reached temperatures exceeding those on the surface of the sun when it re-entered the atmosphere, appearing scorched upon its descent.
"You might also notice that the thermal protection system on the outside of Dragon, if you were watching during launch, was a pristine white," said SpaceX engineer Kate Tice during live commentary. "There was plasma, of course, as it re-entered through Earth's atmosphere, so we have a lovely toasted marshmallow there sitting in the nest of our recovery ship."
In June, SpaceX and NASA plan to conduct another unmanned mission for Crew Dragon, followed by a manned mission in July that will carry astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS. Boeing also has a multibillion-dollar contract with NASA to use its spacecraft to execute missions to the space station.
The company plans to soon launch a test mission using its CST-100 Starliner capsule, with plans to launch a manned test mission in August. For NASA, these collaborations with the private sector represent an effort to bring orbital human spaceflight back into American hands.
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提交时间:2019/3/12 16:25:00

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SpaceX 的“载人龙飞船”(Crew Dragon) 在大西洋完成历史性降落
在与国际空间站对接后,无人太空舱“载人龙飞船”(Crew Dragon) 经过精心设计的流程成功返回地球,这个过程炽热无比。
“载人龙飞船”已经成功完成了为期六天的任务,此行旨在测试太空舱是否适合运送人类到国际空间站。
SpaceX 和美国宇航局 (NASA) 合作完成了此次任务,这标志着美国不再依赖俄罗斯航天器也能将宇航员运送到空间站。
波音公司还与美国宇航局合作,执行前往空间站的任务,并计划在未来几个月进行类似的测试。
SpaceX 的商业太空舱“载人龙飞船”在过去一周与国际空间站对接后,于周五上午成功降落在大西洋。
这是 SpaceX 的历史性成就,SpaceX 希望有一天能用“载人龙飞船”将人类送上太空,对于希望与 SpaceX 合作完成这项任务的美国宇航局来说,这一成就同样具有历史性的意义。这一任务的成功也标志着,自2011年美国宇航局最后一架航天飞机退役以来,美国可以不再依赖俄罗斯航天器向国际空间站运送宇航员。
在“载人龙飞船”为期六天的测试任务的最后几个小时里,太空舱于周五清晨脱离国际空间站,推进器燃烧指向着陆区,经受返回地球大气层的高温考验,然后部署降落伞进行缓冲,在距离佛罗里达海岸200英里外的海面上降落。
这艘26英尺长的无人太空舱按计划于上午8点45分准时降落在海洋中,然后被放置在它的“巢”上,即 SpaceX 的“去搜寻” (GO Searcher) 回收船甲板上的一个位置。美国宇航局表示,这是近50年来首次在大西洋降落的载人太空舱,上一次类似事件是1969年3月13日阿波罗9号在此降落。
美国宇航局局长吉·姆布里登斯廷 (Jim Bridenstine) 说,这次任务是“美国历史上的一项惊人成就”,也是“美国人类太空飞行新纪元的曙光”。
“载人龙飞船”上装载着400磅的货物,还有一个名叫里普利 (Ripley) 的假乘客——这个名字来自于西格妮·韦弗 (Sigourney Weaver) 在《异形》电影中的角色。里普利配备了传感器,可以让美国宇航局和 SpaceX 的工作人员了解人类宇航员在执行任务期间的表现。毕竟,当龙飞船重新进入大气层时,它的隔热层达到的温度超过了太阳表面的温度,在它降落时看起来就像是烤焦了。
“如果你观看了发射过程的话,你可能还会注意到,龙飞船外层的热保护系统是纯白色的,”SpaceX工程师凯特•蒂斯(Kate Tice)在直播评论中说。”当然,当它重新进入地球大气层时有等离子体,所以我们在回收船的巢里会看到一个可爱的烤棉花糖。”
今年6月,SpaceX和美国宇航局计划让“载人龙飞船”执行另一项无人飞行任务,随后在7月将会进行一项载人飞行任务,将宇航员道格•赫尔利 (Doug Hurley) 和鲍勃•本肯 (Bob Behnken) 送到国际空间站。波音公司还与美国宇航局签署了一项数十亿美元的合同,用它的航天器执行前往空间站的任务。
该公司计划很快使用其CST-100星际飞船发射试验任务,并计划在8月发射载人试验任务。对美国宇航局来说,这些与私营企业的合作代表着让美国重获轨道载人航天主动权的努力。

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2019/3/13 16:52:00

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