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Crew Dragon astronauts talk about historic mission in new NASA podcast

NASA has just released a podcast that pulls together many of the media interviews conducted by Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken shortly after the pair returned to Earth after the first astronaut mission using SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.

Hurley and Behnken returned from the International Space Station on Sunday, August 2, after a 64-day mission that also marked the first launch and landing in U.S. territory since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, and the first splashdown down in an American spacecraft in 45 years.

The 72-minute podcast features the two NASA astronauts talking about their various experiences during the historic mission, from liftoff to their time aboard the space station to splashing down off the Florida coast.

SpaceX success

One of the many clips shows Hurley complimenting SpaceX for achieving so much in a relatively short space of time.

“For a company that has only been around for a decade or a little more than that to build a spaceship that takes crew into orbit and returns them safely, just that part of the historical aspect for me is probably most significant,” Hurley said. “And to be part of that, for me, is also by far the most important and one of the most incredible highlights that I’ll have from a professional career to just share in that journey, that odyssey, that Endeavour, as we named our ship, was just one of the true honors of my entire life but certainly my professional career.”

Bumpy ride home

Behnken, meanwhile, offered an incredible account of the bumpy ride as the capsule re-entered Earth’s atmosphere prior to splashdown.

“The atmosphere starts to make noise,” the astronaut said. “You can hear that rumble outside the vehicle, and as the vehicle tries to control, you feel a little bit of that shimmy in your body … As we descended through the atmosphere, the thrusters were firing almost continuously … it doesn’t sound like a machine. It sounds like an animal coming through the atmosphere with all that, all the puffs that are happening from the thrusters and the atmospheric noise, it just continues to gain magnitude as you descend down through the atmosphere … All the separation events from the trunk separation through the parachute firings were very much like getting hit in the back of the chair with a baseball bat.”

Hurley and Behnken were also asked what they ate first following their return on August 2, as well as what advice they’d like to give the Crew-1 astronauts who’ll take the first operational trip aboard the Crew Dragon in October 2020.

The podcast, part of NASA’s Houston, We Have a Podcast series, also includes contributions from NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. You’ll find it at it your favorite podcast provider, including Apple, Google Play, and SoundCloud. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to read a transcript rather than listen, NASA has kindly included one on its website.

To enjoy the highlights of Doug and Bob’s excellent adventure, be sure to check out Digital Trends’ piece documenting the historic mission in pictures.

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