Thomas Pesquet and three other astronauts back on Earth after six months in space
Steph Deschamps / November 9, 2021
The SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts, including Frenchman Thomas Pesquet, ditched Monday night off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico after a six-month stay on the International Space Station, according to a Nasa video broadcast.
Thomas Pesquet returned with the other members of the Crew-2 mission -- Japan's Akihiko Hoshide and Americans Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur Tuesday. They had arrived on board the space station (ISS) on April 24.
Braked by the Earth's atmosphere and then by four huge parachutes, the Dragon capsule resisted the vertiginous descent thanks to its heat shield. It should be recovered quickly by a ship stationed at sea nearby, and soon after the hatch of the spacecraft will be opened so that the astronauts can get out. They will then be brought back on the land by helicopter.
The spacecraft from Elon Musk's company also carried 240 kg of equipment and scientific experiments. The journey to Earth was done in several stages.
Then Dragon circled the Space Station for about an hour and a half to photograph the exterior. On the live video broadcast of Nasa, we could then see Thomas Pesquet having removed his suit, taking these pictures through a window.
The descent to the Earth proper then began, the trip having lasted about eight and a half hours in total.