SpaceX manned “dragon spacecraft” has been in orbit for nearly two months, now NASA plans to let the “dragon spacecraft” return to earth on August 2 local time. On May 30 local time (early morning of May 31, Beijing time), a SpaceX “Falcon 9” rocket was launched from Launch Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, putting the SpaceX dragon spacecraft with two astronauts into orbit.

this is a significant launch for NASA and SpaceX. Since the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle in 2011, this is the first manned space launch mission in the United States, marking the resumption of the ability of the United States to send humans into space.

at the same time, this is also the first manned space launch mission of SpaceX since its establishment 18 years ago. It marks the beginning of a new era of space exploration, a new era led by commercial companies.

the latest report shows that the solar panels of “dragon spaceship” have been in good condition in the past two months. Two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley also completed four spacewalks in orbit to help install new batteries outside the international space station.

today, NASA hopes that the astronauts can return smoothly, complete the last critical mission of the test flight, and land safely in the ocean. No accident, the two astronauts will return on Sunday afternoon, August 2, local time. Of course, the final return date and time will be determined at the “return readiness assessment” (rfrr) meeting on Wednesday.

at that time, the meeting will take into account factors such as the condition of the spacecraft and the weather. The meteorological criteria for return include wind speed less than 16.5 km / h, calm sea surface and low probability of rainfall. For the return of the manned dragon spaceship, there are seven possible falling water areas in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean around Florida.

as for the specific landing area, it needs to be made about 6 hours before departure; however, the final decision may not be made until the last few minutes before takeoff. Depending on the drop point, it will take 6 to 30 hours for the crew to return to earth after disengaging. It took about two hours to reach the international space station.

this launch mission is known as “demo-2”. Around the end of August this year, SpaceX dragon spacecraft will carry out the crew-1 mission, carrying three NASA astronauts and one Japanese astronaut. If the crew-1 mission is successfully completed, crew-2 will be launched as soon as mid-2021. (Li Ming)