NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission is now aiming for a splashdown off the coast of Florida at 7:14 a.m. EST on Monday, November 8. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, dubbed Endeavour, is set to detach from the International Space Station at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, to begin its voyage home.
NASA will preview the mission on Saturday, November 6, and follow it on NASA Television, the NASA app, and its website on Sunday.
At the end of their mission, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will have spent 199 days in space. The spaceship will also return to Earth with around 530 pounds of hardware and scientific data.
Endeavor will undock independently and fly around the International Space Station to photograph the exterior. Following the completion of the maneuver, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will aim for a splashdown in one of seven designated landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
If the weather conditions for the first chance are not good, NASA and SpaceX have a backup undocking and splashdown possibility available on Monday, November 8.
Before returning, the NASA and SpaceX teams will select a primary and alternate splashdown location from the seven probable landing sites, including weather, crew rescue, and recovery operations. Additional decision milestones occur before undocking, throughout the free flight, and before Crew Dragon executes the deorbit-burn.
NASA and SpaceX are working together with the US Coast Guard to construct a safety zone surrounding the planned splashdown area to guarantee the public’s safety, those participating in the recovery operations, and the crew aboard the returning spacecraft.
With the arrival of Crew-2, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than 9:03 p.m. Wednesday, November 10, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is slated to dock at the space station on November 11 for this launch chance.
NASA’s coverage of the SpaceX Crew-2 return is as follows:
- 1:35 p.m. EDT– Ceremonial change of command
Crew-2 return preview briefing media teleconference at 5:30 p.m. EDT with the following participants:
- Ven Feng is the deputy manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
- Joel Montalbano, International Space Station manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
- Sarah Walker, SpaceX JAXA Representative and Director of Dragon Mission Management
Representative of the ESA
- November 7
- 10:45 a.m. EST– Coverage begins for the hatch closure at 11:10 a.m.
- 12:45 p.m. EST– Coverage begins for undocking at 1:05 p.m. (NASA will give continuous coverage from undocking until splashdown).
Tuesday, November 8
- Splashdown at 7:14 a.m. EST
Crew-2 is the second of six crewed missions launched by NASA and SpaceX as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which involves collaborating with the American aerospace sector to launch people on American rockets and spacecraft from American land.
Through a collaboration with American private enterprise, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has met its aim of providing safe, dependable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States.