SpaceX announced on Thursday its Dragon spacecraft completed its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission to and from the International Space Station for NASA. The landing reportedly rattled nearby houses.
According to SpaceX, Dragon successfully returned to Earth and splashed down off the coast of Florida at 10:57 p.m. Dragon previously unlocked from the International Space Station at 9:12 a.m. that same day. It also performed three burns of its Draco thrusters to move away from the station.
SpaceX revealed on Instagram, “Dragon reenters Earth’s atmosphere before splashing down off the coast of Florida – completing the fifth reentry of a Dragon spacecraft this year.”
“After an approximate 14-hour journey, the spacecraft re-entered Earth’s atmosphere and deployed its two drogue and four main parachutes for a soft water landing in the Atlantic Ocean,” SpaceX revealed in the update post.
SpaceX’s Inspiration4 Returns to Earth
Meanwhile, SpaceX recently celebrated Inspiration4’s successful mission. As previously reported, the all-civilian crew of the Inspiration4 splashed down near Florida in the Atlantic Ocean on September 18th. The landing occurred around 7 p.m., ending the historic three-day journey.
As previously reported, Jared Issacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Sian Proctor, and Chris Semrboski were selected as the all-civilian crew. Inspiration4 launched on September 15th and was in space for three days. During their mission, each crew member participated in a first-of-its-kind health research initiative. This initiative was to help increase humanity’s knowledge impacts of spaceflight on the human body.
Isaacman previously spoke about the crew’s key mission. “Inspiration4’s goal is to inspire humanity to support St. Jude here on earth while also seeing new possibilities for human spaceflight. Each of these outstanding crew members embodies the best of humanity, and I am humbled to lead them on this historic and purposeful mission and the adventure of a lifetime.”
Dr. Proctor also explained, “This opportunity is proof that hard work and perseverance can pay off in unimaginable ways. I have always believed that I was preparing for something special, and that moment has arrived with Inspiration4.”
Elon Musk Helps Inspiration4 Achieve Fundraiser Goal
Following their return to Earth, SpaceX’s Elon Musk welcomed the Inspiration4 crew by tweeting he donated $50 million as part of the crew’s $200 million fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
A government report recently revealed that a trip to the International Space Station on SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsules currently costs around $55 million per seat. Elon Musk stated earlier this year he expects the price point to fall “faster than a meteor” in the coming decades.
The documentary series Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission To Space also premiered prior to SpaceX’s Inspiration4 launch. The documentary follows the crew members from training to launch to landing. “This all-access docuseries rides along with the Inspiration4 crew on the first all-civilian orbital space mission.”