NASA and Space X Bring Astronauts Home

Aug 3, 2020

NASA broadcast the return of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley from the International Space Station – the first splashdown of an American crew spacecraft in 45 years.

Bob and Doug’s return began at 7:35 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 1, when the Crew Dragon spacecraft autonomously undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module for a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.

This was SpaceX’s final test flight. The performance data of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown, and recovery operations will inform NASA’s certification of the SpaceX crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission, which would occur following NASA certification.

Once certified, the first operational mission will launch with Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker – all of NASA – along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi will launch on the Crew-1 mission from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four crew members will spend six months on the space station.

The launch is targeted for no earlier than late-September.

 

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