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Tags Current Affairs

SpaceX splashdown

Date: 04 May 2021 Tags: Space

Issue

SpaceX has successfully demonstrated the Crew-1 mission for NASA after its Dragon Spacecraft made a landing on Earth.

 

Background

SpaceX has successfully built a transport module to ferry astronauts to and fro ISS. This marks an important phase in private space technology.

 

Details

  • The spacecraft landed in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Florida and was steered by the astronauts abroad the capsule.

  • This completes the first operational mission by SpaceX for NASA. The Resilience capsule had taken off towards ISS with four Crew-1 astronauts, who returned back.

  • The ISS has now seven inhabitants left after arrival of the Crew-2 mission members abroad a capsule of SpaceX.

 

The beginning

  • The SpaceX Demo-2 test flight was carried out to see if the capsules could be used to ferry astronauts to ISS.

  • The astronauts conducted various experiments including food physiology and effects of dietary improvements on immune function and the gut microbiome.

 

Significance of mission

  • Space capsules can land on both hard ground and water. The last such mission to land during dark time was the historic Apollo 8 mission to Moon in 1968.

  • Russia’s Soyuz capsules in contrast perform hard landing on ground. China’s Shenzhou capsules also follow the same technique.

  • Originally, the plan was to perform ground landings but was postponed owing to bad weather.

  • In addition, day time landings are risky due to presence of pleasure watchers and large number of private fishermen.

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