Crew-2: NASA, SpaceX Adjust Space Station Departure Date

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission now is targeting a return to Earth no earlier than 10:33 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 8, with a splashdown off the coast of Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 2:05 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8, to begin the journey home. Mission teams decided to postpone the Sunday, Nov. 7, undocking following a planned weather review showing high winds unfavorable for recovery near the splashdown zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

NASA will provide coverage of the mission on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

 

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will complete 199 days in space at the conclusion of their mission. The spacecraft also will return to Earth with about 530 pounds of hardware and scientific investigations.

 

Endeavour will undock autonomously and perform a fly around maneuver to photograph the exterior of the International Space Station. Once the maneuver is completed, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will aim for a splashdown at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.

 

The NASA and SpaceX teams will determine a primary and alternate splashdown location from the seven possible landing locations prior to return, factoring in weather, crew rescue, and recovery operations. Additional decision milestones take place prior to undocking, during free flight, and before Crew Dragon performs the deorbit burn.

 

NASA and SpaceX closely coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a safety zone around the expected splashdown location to ensure safety for the public and for those involved in the recovery operations, as well as the crew aboard the returning spacecraft.

 

With Crew-2 splashdown Monday, Nov. 8, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is targeting launch no earlier than 9:03 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For this launch opportunity, the Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station around 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11.

 

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 return coverage is as follows:

 

Monday, Nov. 8

 

11:45 a.m. EST– Coverage begins for 12:40 p.m. hatch closure

 

1:45 p.m. EST– Coverage begins for 2:05 p.m. undocking (NASA will provide continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown)

 

10:33 p.m. EST– Splashdown

 

Crew-2 is the second of six NASA and SpaceX crewed missions to fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which is working with the U.S. aerospace industry to launch astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil.

 

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has delivered on its goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station from the U.S. through a partnership with American private industry. This partnership is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and, eventually, to Mars.

Coverage Update for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 Broadcast

NASA's SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts participate in a dry dress rehearsal on Oct. 28, 2021, in preparation for launch.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts participate in a countdown dress rehearsal at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 28, 2021, to prepare for the upcoming Crew-3 launch. From left are Matthias Maurer, with the European Space Agency, and NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, Crew-3 commander, and Kayla Barron. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts will remain at crew quarters at Kennedy until their launch. They will spend time with their families and receive technical and weather briefings in the next few days.

The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 11 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 3. Launch and docking coverage will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission, staying aboard until late April 2022.

The Crew-2 mission with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will now target their undocking from the space station for no earlier than Sunday, Nov. 7, to return to Earth.

The deadline has passed for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch. Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Kennedy Press Site facilities remains closed for the protection of Kennedy employees and journalists except for limited number of media who have already been notified. More information about media accreditation is available by emailing: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, Nov. 2

  • 8:45 p.m. – NASA Television launch coverage begins. NASA will have continuous coverage, including launch, docking, hatch open, and welcome ceremony.

Wednesday, Nov. 3

 1:10 a.m. – Launch

NASA TV coverage continues through docking, arrival, and the welcome ceremony. In lieu of a postlaunch news conference, NASA leadership will provide comments during the broadcast.

 11 p.m. – Docking

Thursday, Nov. 4

  • 12:35 a.m. – Hatch Opening
  • 1:10 a.m. – Welcoming Ceremony