How to watch SpaceX bring NASA astronauts back to Earth this weekend – CNET

How to watch SpaceX bring NASA astronauts back to Earth this weekend - CNET thumbnail

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley strapped into Crew Dragon before the commence scrub Will also 27.


The SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has been relaxed crusing to this level for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launched to the Global Intention Space in slack Will also and are now headed abet 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 plan of a livestream on NASA TV

Stormy weather at the aptitude splashdown sites within the Gulf of Mexico could perchance perchance complicate the schedule. NASA and SpaceX are planning on a water landing off the flee of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday whereas persevering with to tune any affect from Typhoon Isaias. 

NASA tweeted on Saturday that Behnken and Hurley indulge in numerous days of food on board in case they want to stay in orbit longer resulting from sinful weather at the splashdown put.

Even when the timing particulars could perchance perchance alternate, NASA has location the following coverage schedule for essentially the major milestones on Sunday, Aug. 2:  

  • Splashdown within the Gulf of Mexico is targeted for 11: 48 a.m. PT. 
  • Post-splashdown knowledge conference is location for 1: 30 p.m. PT.

The reentry course of is dramatic. “Crew Dragon will possible be touring at orbital velocity before reentry, transferring at approximately 17,500 miles per hour. The most temperature it’ll experience on reentry is approximately 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit,” acknowledged NASA in a assertion on July 24.

A SpaceX recovery vessel will meet Crew Dragon (which the astronauts named Endeavour) to to find the spacecraft and parachutes from the water. Endeavour will possible be hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley will possible be greeted by a clinical crew.   

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There’s loads driving on a stable, uneventful return for Crew Dragon. “This is SpaceX’s final test flight and is providing knowledge on the efficiency of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground techniques, as well to in-orbit, docking, splashdown and recovery operations,” NASA acknowledged in a release.

If Crew Dragon passes these final tests, then SpaceX will possible be ready to originate standard, operational flights to the ISS starting later this 300 and sixty five days. And it would cease NASA’s reliance on Russian spacecraft for the first time for the reason that shuttle generation.

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