SpaceX splashdown: watch NASA astronauts return to Earth Sunday

SpaceX splashdown: How to watch NASA astronauts return to Earth Sunday

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


The SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has been clean crusing to this point for NASA’s Industrial Crew Program. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launched to the Worldwide Area Station in late Might 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 by way of 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 affect 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 most important milestones on Sunday, Aug. 2:  

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

The reentry course of is dramatic. “Crew Dragon will probably be touring at orbital velocity previous to reentry, transferring at roughly 17,500 miles per hour. The utmost temperature it’s going to expertise on reentry is roughly 3,500 levels Fahrenheit,” mentioned NASA in a press release 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 probably be hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley will probably be greeted by a medical crew.   

There’s loads driving on a protected, uneventful return for Crew Dragon. “That is SpaceX’s remaining check flight and is offering knowledge 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 mentioned in a launch.

If Crew Dragon passes these remaining exams, then SpaceX will be capable to present common, operational flights to the ISS beginning later this yr. And it might finish NASA’s reliance on Russian spacecraft for the primary time because the shuttle period.

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