Over 48 hours ago NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were bobbing in the Gulf of Mexico inside SpaceX Dragon capsule and today the pair conducted a live Q&A.
The duo took a number questions about the splashdown experience, their first meal and revealed if their long-standing friendship lasted while on the International Space Station.
Once deorbit began, Behnken described seeing white clouds rushing by the window and heard the capsule pushing through the atmosphere, which he likened to that of an animal noise.
The pair dined on pizza when they were whisked away to NASA headquarters in Houston and Hurley happily shared that he and Behken are still close friends.
‘Flying Crew Dragon we didn’t have to say anything at time. It was telepathy between us,’ Hurley said.
‘I know that doesn’t always go into the selection process, but when we were selected to fly it gave us a distinct advantage over other crews.’
The astronauts took off from Cape Canaveral on May 30 and embarked on a two-month stay on the International Space Station.
The mission came to a close when the two splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, officially marking the return of spaceflight to American soil.
The press conference, held Tuesday, gave the spacefairing heroes an opportunity to share their once in a lifetime experience with the world.
Most importantly, they shared in detail the exciting return home.
Behnken described the deorbit as going smoothly, saying it was everything he and HUrley had expected.
‘As we descended through the atmosphere, I was surprised at how quickly all the events transpired,’ he said.
‘We didn’t have time to focus on the Earth for a long period of time, but we had a good feeling about how quickly it was moving.’
He continued to explain that his and Hurley’s bodies became attuned with the environment.
‘I recorded audio while we moved through the atmosphere and it doesn’t sound like a machine,’ Behnken said.
‘It sounds like an animal coming through the atmosphere.’
One popular character from the mission was also discussed – a plush dinosaur.
The sequenced toy, named Tremor, was first spotted in the capsule when the pair took off in May and quickly became a star.
Both Hurley and Behnken have boys who are interested in dinosaurs, so both families collected all the dinosaurs in their homes and the children decided which one could make the trip to the ISS.
‘It is a unique way for Bob and I to share this with our sons,’ said Hurley.
‘I am glad we could take Tremor with us and we are happy to see the response to Tremor.’
One question many viewers may have had as they watched the capsule fall into the Gulf of Mexico is, what their first meal on Earth will be.
The pair dined on pizza that was waiting for them in the helicopter after they were retrieved from the capsule.
Hurley again touched on the prank calls the two made while waiting in the capsule.
They phoned their wives, who they said were thrilled to hear from them along with NASA flight director Anthony Vareha who shared the news on Twitter Sunday.
‘I received one of these calls at the flight director console. It started with an opening line like ‘Hi, it’s Doug and Bob, and we’re in the ocean.’ I think my response was, ‘Yeah, I can see that,’ he wrote in a tweet.