The American manned spacecraft Crew Dragon-1, after a 6.5-hour autonomous flight that followed undocking from the International Space Station (ISS), began descending from orbit today, May 2, Interfax reports. In the descent capsule were NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, who spent six months in orbit, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. It was the first regular flight into orbit of a new American manned spacecraft reusable, developed by SpaceX Elon Musk under a commercial contract with NASA.
The descent capsule of the Crew Dragon-1, after deploying all parachutes, splashed down at 02:57 US East Coast time (09:57 Moscow time) in the Gulf of Mexico south of Panama City, Florida. According to NASA, four crew members were successfully removed from the descent vehicle after splashdown. According to them, they feel good.
Soichi Noguchi, who has flown all types of modern ships, including the Soyuz, said that the American Crew Dragon-1 is out of competition. He added that the two days he spent on the Dragon was "one continuous pleasure and left wonderful memories behind."
Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Petr Dubrov, as well as NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hai, who arrived on the ISS on April 9 on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, and arrived at the station on the Crew Dragon-2 spacecraft on April 24, NASA astronauts remained on the ISS. Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbrough, ESA astronaut Thomas Peske, another Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
SpaceX, meanwhile, has won a NASA contract to deliver astronauts to the moon in 2024. They will have to spend about a week on the moon. Among other things, NASA plans to land a woman astronaut on the moon for the first time.