SpaceX Carries NASA Astronaut Mission Home With Safe Water Landing


The first task in the Falcon 9’s #1 of the program, the Road Foresees series (RH1) was carrying an uncrewed astronaut astronaut mission home on behalf of NASA.

The 18th cargo resupply mission of the SpaceX Dragon capsule returned home with an accomplished low-Earth orbit return on Saturday morning and a safe splashdown into the Atlantic Ocean after NASA astronauts Kate Rubins and Victor Glover performed a de-orbit burn. In this unprecedented time of community service to support the scientific community during COVID-19, NASA sought out a truly unique delivery of water from SpaceX to provide high-quality drinking water to remote and underserved areas of the planet.

"As NASA and SpaceX continue to take on some of the most challenging space exploration challenges in our nation's history, we appreciate our industry partners who want to support NASA in its mission to develop the next generation of robust human capabilities in space," said Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator. "SpaceX is continuing this tradition by supporting our agency's mission with a clean, safe return of high-quality drinking water to thirsty communities as well as reallocation of the savings gained from this mission."

Beyond the basics of science and data, this return splashdown also has the highest impact on entire communities around the world. In addition to the water purification assistance, up to 2,500 people in a number of homes and out buildings could benefit from bottled water and personal hygiene support.

"We are extremely proud of our team for making this mission happen on behalf of NASA while also ensuring that we continue to provide the reliable service our customers, companies and communities rely on," said Tory Bruno, CEO of SpaceX. "As the Falcon 9 and Dragon continue to serve our customers from crewed missions to resupply and collect data, we are also committed to helping accelerate science in space."

Images of the special recovery mission offer a highlight of SpaceX’s mission, also called SpaceX WRAP, which was named for a special mission for NASA. However, since it was the first mission of its kind, the autonomous mission had to operate itself and will take added time to complete the cleaning of the capsule at the Air Force Test Station. This will allow all of the original equipment in the spacecraft to be preserved and used for future missions.

In addition to the main cargo cargo carrying, the first-ever electronic recycling capsule also took flight with the Falcon 9. The bundle was carrying 75% of the current oxygen production line capacity, as well as 100% of the reduction of water waste by the current tanks to be transferred to Seattle. The dose brings with it an immense amount of water volume, approximately 900,000 gallons of water, that will be used to reduce the water flow from the station during a regular mission.

The SpaceX formula for making high-quality drinking water, can take into account 100% of the water produced in the current oil plant, ammonia and water created during SpaceX's manufacturing process. This enables SpaceX to remove the bulk of contaminants throughout its water purification process.

This event is part of SpaceX’s legacy of serving those critical needs to make NASA’s space exploration missions capable of serving those living and working on Earth. SpaceX's own continuous water production plant has already removed 400,000 gallons of water since it was implemented in July 2020 in Port Chicago, California. So much is not included in the shipment to Seattle, but this major donation will greatly impact communities in and around Seattle. This will continue efforts towards sustainability and resilience on Earth.

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