From: Kinsella, Timothy F Jr CAPT USN NAS PENSACOLA FL (USA) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, August 3, 2020 11:30 AM
To: PNSC_NASP_Military <PNSC_NASP_Military@navy.mil>; PNSC_NASP_Civilians <PNSC_NASP_Civilians@navy.mil>
Subject: BZ for the SpaceX Recovery!!
Hopefully, many of you saw on the news yesterday the wonderful story of our NASA astronauts returning to earth in a SpaceX capsule after spending two months onboard the International Space Station (ISS). People from across the Nation and the world watched live as the capsule landed safely about 30 miles off shore in the Gulf of Mexico, and was then recovered by the SpaceX vessel GO NAVIGATOR. It was the first water landing by a space craft since 1975, and just like in 1975, the US Navy played a significant part in their recovery. The capsule was brought back here to NAS Pensacola pier onboard the GO NAVIGATOR, and the astronauts were brought here to Sherman Field via helicopter and transferred to a NASA aircraft for transportation to Houston. The astronauts’ ride back to Earth was fast, bumpy and hot, as the spacecraft went from an orbital speed of 17,500 mph to 350 mph during atmospheric re-entry, and finally slowing to 15 mph at splashdown, with peak heating during descent at 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit!! NAS Pensacola may have only played a small, but important, role in this monumental event, but it’s one we are proud of. As always, the NAS Pensacola team went above and beyond to ensure NASA and SpaceX had everything they needed to complete the mission. I’d like to specifically recognize the our awesome crews at Pier Operations and Air Operations who worked diligently all week to prepare for this event. I hope you are all as proud as I am to say that NAS Pensacola was a part of history. BZ to everyone involved!
CAPT Tim “Lucky” Kinsella, USN