SpaceX’s manned capsule is not called Dragon for nothing: the two NASA astronauts on Earth brought back on board Sunday said on Tuesday that they had the impression, crossing the atmosphere at more than 20,000 km / h, of travel through the bowels of a formidable beast.
«When we re-entered the atmosphere, the thrusters were igniting almost continuouslyBob Behnken told a virtual press conference from Houston, Texas, where they returned after landing off Florida on Sunday.
“The atmosphere starts to make noise, you wait for the rumble outside the vehicle, and as the vehicle tries to control itself, you feel like a waddle in the body.».
“Inside an animal”
«The noise did not sound like that of a machine, but of that made by an animal», Continued the 50-year-old astronaut. “Going through the atmosphere, with all the thrusters, and the atmospheric noise that gets louder as you descend, is something we both really noticed.».
«We really felt like we were inside an animal», Repeated this engineer usually reluctant to metaphors.
The two men, best friends in life and each married to an astronaut, responded as tradition dictates to journalists’ questions two days after their safe return from a two-month stay on the International Space Station.