Update, Aug. 2, 11: 54 a.m. PT: Team Dragon has actually effectively splashed down. Read about it here
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-2 objective has been smooth cruising so far for NASA’s Commercial Team Program Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley introduced to the International Space Station in late May and are now almost back to Earth.
Splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico is on schedule for 11: 48 a.m. PT. There will have to do with an hour of excitement prior to that minute as Crew Dragon deorbits and returns to Earth’s environment.
NASA and SpaceX are intending on a water landing off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday while continuing to monitor any effect from Typhoon Isaias.
This will be the first crew healing at sea of NASA astronauts since 1975 at the end of the Apollo moon expedition era, the space agency tweeted on Sunday
A post-splashdown news conference is set for 1: 30 p.m. PT on NASA TV.
The reentry procedure is significant.
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A SpaceX healing vessel will satisfy Crew Dragon (which the astronauts named Endeavour) to collect the spacecraft and parachutes from the water. Endeavour will be hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley will be greeted by a medical team.
“This is SpaceX’s last test flight and is providing data on the efficiency of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown and healing operations,” NASA said in a release
If Team Dragon passes these last tests, then SpaceX will be able to offer routine, operational flights to the ISS beginning later this year