After about six months on the International Space Station (ISS, acronym in English), four astronauts – two American, one French and one Japanese – returned to Earth this Monday (8). they were working on crew-2 mission, who conducted hundreds of experiments and improved the solar panels of the laboratory.
The four traveled in the Dragon capsule SpaceX, as baptized “Attempt”, which separated from the ISS at 4:05 pm Brasilia time. US Space Agency (NASA) broadcast the whole process live on your social networks.
“At the last minute to pack your bags and get ready to depart the ISS,” tweeted Japanese Akihiko Hoshide. “It’s been more than six fun months, it’s been a pleasure and an honor to work with all these wonderful people around the world, on and off the planet.”
The activities of the astronauts during the months on the ISS were documenting the Earth’s surface to record changes caused by human and natural phenomena, the cultivation of peppers, and the study of some larvae to understand human health in space.
The team’s return, however, was supposed to take place this Sunday (7), but it had to be postponed due to weather conditions.
Bad weather and what NASA considered a “minor medical problem” led to the postponement of the launch of a new group of astronauts. crew-3 mission. Take-off should be this Wednesday (10). SpaceX is taking astronauts to the ISS from 2020.
“As we prepare to leave, there is a bitter feeling that we will never see the ISS again,” Frenchman Thomas Pesquet told a news conference this past weekend before returning to Earth.
Before reaching home, the four astronauts face one last challenge: need to wear diapers while traveling, because a problem was detected in the capsule’s waste management system.
They haven’t been able to reach the bathroom since the capsule’s doors close at 2:40 p.m., and will have to stay that way for about 10 hours until they reach Earth.
“It’s certainly not ideal, but we’re prepared to deal with it,” said NASA astronaut Megan MacArthur. “Space flight is full of challenges, it’s just another one we face and we have to deal with in this mission.”
Astronauts on the International Space Station – Photo: ESA/NASA-T. pesquet