The SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission has so far been running smoothly for NASA. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley At the end of May, and now they are ready to come back on Sunday if the weather is fine.
The return to Earth is taking some time, and NASA will be on the go with a livestream on NASA television.
Stormy weather at the potential splashing water in the Atlantic could complicate the schedule. “We will be watching the weather very closely. We have a number of locations and many days. If we do not undock on Saturday to come home on Sunday, we will undock on Monday,”
While timing details may change, NASA has set the following reporting schedule for key milestones:
Saturday, August 1st:
- Reporting on the ISS farewell ceremony at 6:10 p.m. PT.
- Undocking of the reporting begins at 2:15 p.m. before departure at 4:34 p.m.
Sunday, August 2nd:
- Splashdown in the Atlantic is scheduled for 11:42 p.m. PT.
- Press conference after spraying set to 2 p.m. PT.
The re-entry process is dramatic. “Crew Dragon will move at an orbital speed before re-entry and will travel at approximately 17,500 miles per hour. The maximum temperature upon re-entry is approximately 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit,” NASA said in a statement on July 24.
A SpaceX recovery ship hits Crew Dragon (whom the astronauts called Endeavor) to get the spaceship and parachutes out of the water. Endeavor is hoisted onto the ship and Behnken and Hurley are greeted by a medical team.
A safe and uneventful return is very important for Crew Dragon. “This is SpaceX’s last test flight and provides data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, the Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown and recovery operations,” NASA said in a press release.
If Crew Dragon passes these final tests, SpaceX can regularly provide the following:. And it would end NASA’s dependence on Russian spacecraft for the first time since the shuttle era.