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.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew members are settling into their new orbital home aboard the International Space Station while Crew-6 make their own preparations for a safe return to Earth in the coming days.
Crew-7 NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov moved into the space station on Aug. 27. The crew launched on Aug. 26 from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Meanwhile, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev are wrapping up crew handover activities with Crew-7 which involves concluding science experiments, and transferring return cargo to their Dragon spacecraft. Their spacecraft has been docked with the space station since arriving in March 2023.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting Saturday, Sept. 2, for Crew-6 and SpaceX’s Dragon to undock from the space station and safely splashdown off the coast of Florida on Sunday, Sept. 3. Joint teams are monitoring weather forecasts across seven potential splashdown sites off the coast of Florida and any impacts Hurricane Idalia may have on recovery operations.
The agency will share more information on Crew-6 return as it becomes available.