The Go Searcher will be there for astronauts after they land, even in worst-case scenarios.
Over the past few years, we’ve gotten acquainted with SpaceX’s fleet of drone ships built to be maritime landing pads for Elon Musk’s reusable rockets. Today the company debuted another kind of boat—the Go Searcher, which will retrieve astronauts who return to Earth on board a SpaceX capsule.
Here’s how a landing with a SpaceX Crew Dragon, which is scheduled to have its first flight in 2019, is supposed to look: The capsule makes a splash landing in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida’s eastern seaboard. The Go Searcher tracks them down, and comes equipped with a crane to get the capsule out of the water.
Medical teams from both NASA and SpaceX will examine the astronauts and the teams will decide on the next course of action from there. SpaceX has buffed up its recovery ship, with a medical treatment facility and a helipad for worst-case scenarios.
If everything is fine with the astronauts, as if often the case, the Go Searcher will proceed to Cape Canaveral. If there’s an emergency on board—say, something went wrong during re-entry and an astronaut has been wounded—SpaceX can now offer an emergency evac via helicopter to a Florida hospital. Let’s hope they never need to use it.
Source: The Verge