CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The astronauts who are completing SpaceX's first-ever manned mission gave an update from the International Space Station on Monday morning,
After successfully lifting off from Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken docked the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft at the International Space Station by Sunday morning, beginning their extended stay in space.
During the update on Monday, Hurley and Behnken answered questions from Earth about their mission so far. They discussed a variety of topics, including the SpaceX spacesuits, the hard work that went into returning humans to space, and even what the restroom was like inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The veteran astronauts will stay at the International Space Station for an undetermined amount of time. The spacecraft can stay in orbit for about 210 days but the specific duration of their mission has not been determined yet. NASA will make this decision based on the readiness of the next commercial crew launch.
When the mission ends, NASA said the Crew Dragon spacecraft will undock with Hurley and Behnken on board and depart the International Space Station. They will re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and splashdown just off of Florida's Atlantic Coast, where the SpaceX Navigator recovery vessel will recover them.
NASA said this is a stepping stone, as the Artemis program aims to discover new knowledge about the Moon, Earth, and our origins in the solar system. It will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the moon by 2024. Contracts have already been awarded to Blue Origin, Dynetics, and SpaceX to design and develop human landers.
Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. (Photo Credit: NASA)
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