SpaceX splashdown: How to watch NASA astronauts return to Earth Sunday
SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission has been sailing smoothly for NASA so far. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley In late May and now coming back to Earth.
The Crew Dragon successfully expired from the ISS at 4:35 p.m. PT on Saturday NASA is airing the return process via a livestream on TV.
Stormy weather at potential splashdown sites in the Gulf of Mexico can complicate the schedule. NASA and SpaceX are planning on watering off the coast of Florida’s Penasacola on Sunday, while monitoring any effects from Hurricane Issa.
NASA on Saturday tweeted that Behnken and Hurley have several days of food on board, as bad weather at the Splashdown site requires them to be in orbit for longer periods of time.
Although time details may change, NASA has set the following coverage schedule for major milestones on Sunday, August 2:
- Splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico is targeted for PT at 11:48 am.
- The post-splashdown news conference is scheduled at 1:30 pm. PT
The reentry process is dramatic. In a statement on July 24, NASA stated, “The crew must have been traveling at an orbital velocity before circling at a speed of 17,500 mph before the dragon orbiter. In a statement on July 24, NASA stated that its temperature was about 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit is.”
The spacecraft’s recovery vessel will meet the crew Dragon (an astronaut named Endeavor), collect the spacecraft and parachute from the water. Endeavor will be hoisted aboard the ship and Behenken and Hurley will be greeted by a medical team.
The crew owes a lot to a safe, uneven return to the dragon. “This is SpaceX’s final test flight and is providing data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, crew dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as data on orbit, docking, splashdown and recovery operations,” NASA said in a release.
If Crew Dragon passes these last tests, SpaceX will be able to provide the regulars,. And it would end NASA’s reliance on Russian spacecraft for the first time since the shuttle era.