Total coverage: SpaceX Historic Demo-2 Crew Dragon Astronaut Test Flight
Behnken and Hurley, or “Bob and Doug” as they have been affectionately known by the public, were launched onto the space station on May 30 as part of SpaceX’s first crewed space mission. The launch, which is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, also marks NASA’s first manned commercial mission.
SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission will end with the crew returning to Earth, who will be the first American splashdown in almost 45 years. The pair of seasoned astronauts are expected to splash in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City, Florida, one of seven options available, at 2:42 p.m. EDT (6:42 p.m. GMT) if weather conditions are favorable.
This could prove tricky, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center continues toward Hurricane Isais which is currently heading towards Florida.
NASA officials said they plan to make a final decision on whether to undock about six hours before the event’s scheduled date. This will happen around 1:30 p.m. EDT (5:30 p.m. GMT). The target landing site could also change depending on weather conditions, they added.
Related: SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 crewed test flight in photos
A final landing site, and whether or not watering will be delayed, will be decided based on a number of key factors, including wind speed, ocean wave slope, rain, lightning, the availability of nearby recovery helicopters, the ship’s pace and taxiing, the visible ceiling and overall visibility.
Visit Space.com today for full coverage of the Crew Dragon Landing.
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