Written byShubham Sharma
The spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) a few hours ago and is now gliding in orbit, inching closer to a fiery re-entry and grand splashdown.
Here is all you need to know about it.
The hooks locking Endeavour retracted, following which the spacecraft autonomously did two quick thruster burns to back away from the orbiting lab and another four to begin its orbital journey home.
A few hours into the journey, Dragon will perform one phasing engine burn to put itself on the path towards the targeted landing zone.
After that, the astronauts will have to wait/sleep for about 16 hours as the craft is slated to begin its descent at 11:19 pm IST on Sunday.
Before that, Dragon will also jettison its trunk to lose some unnecessary weight.
Around 11:19 pm IST, Crew Dragon will perform the final deorbit burn to begin the journey to the ground.
This is the most harrowing part as while falling through Earth's atmosphere at 28,000+ km/hr, the capsule experiences temperatures up to 1,900 degrees Celsius.
The heat-shield protects, but the conditions are so extreme that communications with the crew can go out for nearly six minutes.
As the craft falls down to ground bearing extreme heat, the atmosphere slows its speed.
At about 18,000 feet, Dragon will deploy two drogue parachute to slow itself down from 560 km/hr to 190 km/hr, and at about 6,000 feet, it will deploy four main ones to further slow down and splash down safely at one the targeted sites off the coast of Florida.
If all goes according to the plan, Crew Dragon will be on the ground by 12:18 am IST, Monday, wrapping up the first-ever manned space launch from the American soil in nine years.
You can follow along the journey and any possible changes to it due to bad weather conditions by watching it live or can tune in at about 11:19 pm IST when the descent to the ground is about to begin.
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