WASHINGTON – Four astronauts just returned from the International Space Station described on Thursday their reentry into Earth’s atmosphere and ocean splashdown after more than 160 days in space.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 2, 2021
“There was a point where I was just saying to myself, breathe. Inhale, because I felt really heavy — I felt like those cartoons when they experience G and your face is just sagging down,” said American Victor Glover, one of the astronauts in the group called Crew-1.
A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying the crew back to Earth splashed down off Florida early Sunday in NASA’s first nighttime ocean landing in more than 50 years. It was the first regular mission to be taken and then returned from the ISS aboard a spacecraft built by billionaire Elon Musk’s company.
— NASA (@NASA) May 6, 2021 LIVE: NASA’s @SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts give their first update after returning to Earth. Have questions? Use #AskNASA. https://t.co/pWvaHVPi8n
The weight of acceleration was concentrated in the chest, making it difficult to breathe. “I expected it to be so dynamic — and so challenging — that the actual event I think, was a little less than what I was expecting, and so it was enjoyable all around,” Glover said.
Since that time until now NASA was forced to pay for rides to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz vessels, which land on dry land. NASA has contracted SpaceX to launch astronauts into space from US soil, something that has not been possible since 2011 with the end of space shuttle program. But then, “launch and entry are such unique experiences,” he said.
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