The Astronauts SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Are Returning To Earth

The Astronauts SpaceX Crew Dragon Capsule Are Returning To Earth

The two NASA astronauts who rode to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's new Crew Drago are due to return on Sunday after a almost four-month voyage that marked NASA's first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

"We won't leave the space station without some good landing opportunities in front of us - good splashdown weather in front of us", Behnken said Friday from the orbiting outpost.

After nearly 8 hours, the Dragon is slated for splash down at one of seven targeted water landing sites off the coast of Florida at 2:42 PM EDT on August 2 (12:12 am IST on August 3).

The biggest question is if the weather will hold.

That is around the time the National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Isaias will arrive near the coast of central Florida and close to what could have been the primary splashdown site.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley took off aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon from Cape Canaveral, Florida on May 30. "There's more chow, and I know the space station program's got more work that we can do for the folks that have sent science up here to the space station".

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Two NASA astronauts are supposed to return to Earth this weekend onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

The homecoming of Douglas and Robert after more than two months at the ISS will mark the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station. Yet, the mission has been dubbed Demo-2 because SpaceX had earlier carried out an uncrewed test flight, which had been dubbed Demo-1. "And, you know ... it certainly wouldn't be the first time that that's happened in a space vehicle, but it will be the first time in this particular vehicle if we do", Hurley said.

Crew Dragon is shown docked to the Harmony module on the International Space Station. But Hurley and Behnken, both space shuttle veterans and former test pilots, said Friday they are confident the SpaceX capsule will bring them safely back to Earth.

After the spacecraft splashes down, a recovery ship with more than 40 NASA and SpaceX personnel onboard will rendezvous with the capsule and hoist it out of the water and onto the ship's main deck. "We could stay up here longer".

Hurley's wife, Karen Nyberg, is retired from the astronaut corps; but Behnken's wife, Megan McArthur, is in training for launch to the space station aboard her husband's Crew Dragon next year. "But we have confidence that the teams on the ground are of course watching that much more closely than we are". Flight surgeons will be among the dozens of the recovery team members. After Behnken and Hurley return to Earth, their spacecraft will undergo a series of inspections in Florida to assess how the vehicle performed throughout its flight.

"My son is six years old", says Behnken, "and I can tell from the videos that I get, and talking to him on the phone, that he's changed a lot even in just the couple of months that we've been up here".

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