NASA, SpaceX Preparing For Crew Return

NASA's first commercial crew astronauts (from left) Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are preparing for their return to Earth aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
NASA’s first commercial crew astronauts (from left) Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are preparing for their return to Earth aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.

NASA and SpaceX teams remain “Go” for the return of the agency’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley from the International Space Station following the Return Flight Readiness Review, with the primary factor being weather.

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 7:34 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 1, for undocking of the Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft from the space station and 2:42 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, for splashdown, which will be the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station.

NASA and SpaceX will hold the Return Flight Readiness Review briefing at 3:30 p.m. EDT on NASA TV and the agency’s website from the Johnson Space Center to talk the details of the return of the end-to-end test flight. Participants are:

  • NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Benji Reed, director, crew mission management, SpaceX

The test flight also is helping NASA certify SpaceX’s crew transportation system for regular flights carrying astronauts to and from the space station. SpaceX is readying the hardware for the first rotational mission, which would occur following NASA certification.

The goal of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station. This could allow for additional research time and increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration, including helping us prepare for human exploration of the Moon and Mars.

18 thoughts on “NASA, SpaceX Preparing For Crew Return”

  1. I know it’s not set in stone yet but if the path is correct, is this something that may be viewable from the East coast? If so, how far North? I’ll be near Myrtle!

  2. Good luck and best wishes to Doug and Bob on a safe return. From; Jim an avid NASA space follower in Western Australia.

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