SpaceX splashdown: Find out how to watch NASA astronauts return to Earth Sunday

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley strapped into Crew Dragon previous to the launch scrub Could 27.


The SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has been clean crusing to date for NASA’s Industrial Crew Program. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launched to the Worldwide House Station in late Could and at the moment are headed again to Earth.

Crew Dragon efficiently undocked from the ISS at 4:35 p.m. PT on Saturday. NASA has been broadcasting the return course of via a livestream on NASA TV. 

Stormy climate on the potential splashdown websites within the Gulf of Mexico may complicate the schedule. NASA and SpaceX are planning on a water touchdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday whereas persevering with to watch any influence from Hurricane Isaias. 

NASA tweeted on Saturday that Behnken and Hurley have a number of days of meals on board in case they should keep in orbit longer due to unhealthy climate on the splashdown web site.

Although the timing particulars may change, NASA has set the next protection schedule for the main milestones on Sunday, Aug. 2:  

Splashdown within the Gulf of Mexico is focused for 11:48 a.m. PT. Publish-splashdown information convention is about for 1:30 p.m. PT.

The reentry course of is dramatic. “Crew Dragon will likely be touring at orbital velocity previous to reentry, shifting at roughly 17,500 miles per hour. The utmost temperature it would expertise on reentry is roughly 3,500 levels Fahrenheit,” stated NASA in an announcement on July 24.

A SpaceX restoration vessel will meet Crew Dragon (which the astronauts named Endeavour) to gather the spacecraft and parachutes from the water. Endeavour will likely be hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley will likely be greeted by a medical group.   

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There’s quite a bit driving on a protected, uneventful return for Crew Dragon. “That is SpaceX’s last check flight and is offering information on the efficiency of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and floor methods, in addition to in-orbit, docking, splashdown and restoration operations,” NASA stated in a launch.

If Crew Dragon passes these last assessments, then SpaceX will be capable to present common, operational flights to the ISS beginning later this 12 months. And it will finish NASA’s reliance on Russian spacecraft for the primary time for the reason that shuttle period.

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