Two NASA astronauts aboard the space station are about to enter a burning drop in the atmosphere and ocean.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley became the first people to fly SpaceX’s new space crew, the Crew Dragon, on May 30. It was the crew’s first launch from American soil since July 2011, and the first launch of a commercial spacecraft with humans inside. The spacecraft stopped at the International Space Station (ISS) the next day, and Behnken and Hurley have been conducting science and space experiments since then.
But now comes the hard part: bringing them back to Earth.
Behnken and Hurley have to re-embark on the Dragon Crew and get hurt back in the atmosphere ̵1; a journey that will require the spacecraft to set temperatures up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said the fall on Earth is the one that worries the most about the Demo-2 mission.
Here’s how every step of the return journey must play in order to bring astronauts home safely.