The Crew Dragon capsule generates more energy than predicted. This will allow the device to return to Earth later than planned.
The American manned spacecraft Crew Dragon with two astronauts Dag Hurley and Bob Benken will return from the ISS to Earth in early August. This was announced by the head of the NASA manned program, Steve Stich.
He explained that the spacecraft’s solar panels work “much better than predicted,” which means that technically the ship can remain at the dock for another 114 days, which is much longer than planned.
NASA also plans to include two additional ISS crew members in the module, along with two Dragon crew pilots. So they want to test “habitability” to see how astronauts can handle such flights in the future.
Earlier, Benken joined ISS commander Chris Cassidy during his spacewalk to upgrade obsolete space station batteries. The agency is still planning additional tests before returning Benken and Hurley to Earth, including checking the air conditioning system, Space.com reported.
While the launch and docking procedures went without much difficulty, the entry of the capsule into the atmosphere is still a serious test for the device. Researchers note that only after both astronauts safely return to the surface, SpaceX and NASA will be able to call the flight a success.