The Dragon spacecraft’s journey back to Earth was no easy feat. The spacecraft entered Earth’s atmosphere traveling at a speed of about 17,000 mph (27,000 km/h).
The friction of particles in the atmosphere created a drag force, slowing it down drastically while heating the outside of the capsule to temperatures nearly as hot as the sun.
Despite the extreme temperatures, the crew was protected by a heat shield. However, the spacecraft doesn’t look as pristine after its return, as it did before launch. Previous spacecraft that made the came back from space missions have shown evidence of wear and tear from their fiery reentry phase.
The Dragon capsule’s four parachutes were deployed before the splashdown, which helped to ensure a gentle landing. Once the spacecraft landed in the water, a search and recovery crew were waiting nearby on SpaceX’s Shannon recovery ship. They helped the crew out of the capsule and hoisted the spacecraft out of the water.
The capsule is now being inspected by SpaceX and NASA teams. And the crew was checked out by the medical team.