NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev splashed down safely in the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at 12:17 a.m. EDT after 186 days in space.
Teams on the SpaceX recovery ship, including two fast boats, now are in the process of securing Dragon and ensuring the spacecraft is safe for the recovery effort. As the fast boat teams complete their work, the recovery ship will move into position to hoist Dragon onto the main deck with the astronauts inside. Once on the main deck, the crew will be taken out of the spacecraft and receive medical checks before a helicopter ride to board a plane for Houston.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev on their return to Earth after a nearly six-month science mission has completed its deorbit burn as expected ahead of splashdown at about 12:17 a.m. EDT in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.
Four minutes before splashdown, the drogue parachutes will deploy at about 18,000 feet in altitude while Dragon is moving approximately 350 miles per hour, and less than a minute later, the main parachutes deploy at about 6,000 feet in altitude while the spacecraft is moving approximately 119 miles per hour.
NASA TV coverage available online and via the NASA app will continue until the crew is recovered from the spacecraft.
Watch the agency’s live coverage as NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev inside the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft work toward a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, at about 12:17 a.m. EDT. Recovery forces are taking positions in the recovery zone.
The deorbit burn is scheduled to begin at 11:24 p.m. EDT.
The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev inside undocked from the forward-facing port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 7:05 a.m. EDT to complete a six-month science mission.
NASA coverage of Crew-6’s return will continue with audio only, and full coverage will resume at the start of the splashdown broadcast. Real-time audio between Crew-6 and flight controllers at NASA’s Mission Audio stream will remain available and includes conversations with astronauts aboard the space station and a live video feed from the orbiting laboratory.
NASA TV coverage will resume at 11 p.m. Sunday until Endeavour splashes down at approximately 12:17 a.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 4, near Jacksonville off the coast of Florida and Crew-6 members are recovered.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission launched March 2, 2023, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station the next day.
NASA and SpaceX met Friday evening to continue close evaluations of weather conditions around Florida’s coastline as they consider the best options for Crew-6 to return to Earth. Teams are working toward an undocking opportunity of no earlier than 7:05 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3, with the first potential splashdown opportunity no earlier than 12:07 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. Teams are proceeding to the next weather briefing scheduled for Saturday morning to continue assessing weather for the primary target. Additional undock and splashdown opportunities are available early next week if weather conditions continue to be unfavorable over the weekend.
The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, remains healthy while currently docked to the International Space Station. Dragon has been cleared for departure and re-entry by the space station and Dragon mission management teams. Pre-departure checkouts of the spacecraft were conducted Friday with normal performance across all systems. Operations teams are not working any major issues and there are currently no constraints to flight.
For the current undocking opportunity, NASA TV coverage can be found of the agency’s television schedule.
The Expedition 69 crew is expected to split up soon when four flight engineers return to Earth aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft. Meanwhile, all crew members on the International Space Station spent Friday keeping up their orbital research and maintenance tasks.
Unfavorable weather conditions off the coast of Florida have pushed back Saturday’s planned undocking and splashdown of four station crew members at least 24 hours. Mission managers from SpaceX and NASA are now targeting the undocking of Endeavour with four crewmates inside for no earlier than 7:05 a.m. EDT on Sunday.
Endeavour, commanded by Stephen Bowen and piloted by Woody Hoburg, both NASA astronauts, is targeted to splash down in the waters off Florida’s coast at 12:07 a.m. on Monday. Flanking the NASA duo during the 19-hour ride back to Earth will be UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. The quartet will be completing a six-month space research mission that began with a launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on March 2.
New station flight engineers Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos have been familiarizing themselves with station systems all week. They are turning their attention now to full-time science, cargo, and health activities having been living on the space station since Aug. 27.
Moghbeli transferred research samples to science freezers that will be returned to Earth inside the Endeavour spacecraft with the departing crewmates. Mogensen set up a pair of Kubik research incubators that support studies of seeds, cells, and small mammals inside the Columbus laboratory module. Furukawa worked in the Kibo laboratory module removing a microbiology experiment from a research incubator that can generate artificial gravity. Finally, Borisov unpacked cargo from the Roscosmos Progress 85 cargo craft and tested ways future crews might pilot spacecraft and robots on planetary missions.
The space station’s other three crewmates are due to leave the orbital lab at the end of September completing just over one year orbiting Earth. In the meantime, the trio from NASA and Roscosmos has continued its research and lab upkeep tasks. Astronaut and Flight Engineer Frank Rubio configured and stowed emergency masks and had his eyes scanned by Mogensen using standard medical imaging hardware. Cosmonaut and Commander Sergey Prokopyev partnered with Borisov for the Progress 85 cargo unpacking duties. Flight Engineer Dmitri Petelin also participated in the futuristic piloting study, then inspected windows in the Zvezda service module, and inventoried cargo in the Poisk module.
NASA and SpaceX are standing down from the Saturday, Sept. 2, departure opportunities for the agency’s Crew-6 mission from the International Space Station due to unfavorable weather conditions near the splashdown sites off the coast of Florida. The next available undocking opportunity is no earlier than 7:05 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3, with a splashdown no earlier than 12:07 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4, pending weather evaluations.
Mission teams will meet Friday evening to determine the viability of the next Crew-6 undock target. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, remains healthy while currently docked to the space station as Crew-6 prepares for their return trip to Earth completing a nearly six-month science mission in orbit.
Crew-6’s Dragon undocking depends on a variety of factors, including spacecraft readiness, recovery team readiness, weather, sea states, and other factors.
NASA will provide more information about live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the Crew-6 mission with NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, as well as UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev.
NASA TV coverage for the Sept. 3 undocking and Sept. 4 splashdown opportunity, if it is chosen, will be:
Sunday, Sept. 3 (All times eastern and subject to change depending on operations)