The private boats suddenly pulled and parked so close to the Crew Dragon that SpaceX staff had difficulty recalling the ship.
The private boat was parked in an arc while the SpaceX staff picked up the Crew Dragon. Photo: Space.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, or SpaceX’s Endeavor, landed off the coast of Pensacola, Florida this morning, bringing two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth after two month on the International Space Station on test mission. Not long after the ship crashed into the sea, private boats approached the spacecraft compartment for a closer look.
“It was out of our expectation,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s director. “After the astronauts landed, many boats arrived. We definitely need to do better next time.”
In the Crew Dragon scene on NASA TV, people steer the boat into SpaceX’s ship recovery area, some of which are too close to the cabin. One of the boats has a circular flag around the Crew Dragon. According to Bridenstine, the Coast Guard had sealed off the earlier landing area, and the landing process had no problems. SpaceX’s retrieval ship Go Navigator picked up the deck to board about 30 minutes after the crash, but the private boat arrived first. “The boat has been on the water for a long time and the boats are around. There are things we need to see and improve on,” Bridenstine said.
SpaceX’s ship recovery team had to find a way to repel the private boats. However, these boats still linger in an arc around SpaceX’s Go Navigator while the recovery staff pulls the cabin up from the sea.
SpaceX began its Demo-2 mission on May 30, bringing Behnken and Hurley to the ISS station. This was the last test before SpaceX conducted official passenger flights for NASA in late September 2020. Along with Boeing, SpaceX is one of two private companies that won a multi-billion dollar NASA contract to carry astronauts between the Earth and the ISS station.
(According to Space)