How to watch SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronauts return to Earth Monday

UPDATE: SpaceX and NASA are now targeting a Monday, Nov. 8, departure from the International Space Station for the Crew-2 astronauts and Crew Dragon Endeavour. Splashdown is now set for Monday evening at 10:33 p.m. EDT (0233 GMT).


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission are scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Monday afternoon (Nov. 8), and you’ll watch the motion dwell on-line.

After spending simply shy of 200 days in space, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, together with Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Thomas Pesquet, will say goodbye to their crewmates on the orbital outpost Sunday and board their Crew Dragon capsule, named Endeavour, for the journey again to Earth. Splashdown set for Monday evening at 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT).

You can watch it all live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. Coverage will start at 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GMT) Monday, drop off after hatch closure, after which choose up once more at 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT) for departure. Coverage might be steady from then till splashdown, NASA officers stated.

Live updates: SpaceX’s Crew-2 and Crew-3 astronaut missions

The hatches between Endeavour and the station are scheduled to shut at 12:40 p.m. EST (1740 GMT) on Sunday, with undocking following at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT). The capsule will splash down off the coast of Florida early Monday night (Nov. 8), if all goes in accordance to plan.

This timeline remains to be tentative, nevertheless. NASA and SpaceX officers stated that the climate stays an enormous think about when the crew can come house, with the ultimate “go/no go” name taking place just a few hours earlier than Endeavour is scheduled to undock. If the climate is simply too poor at all the seven potential splashdown websites, mission group members will goal a backup window on Monday for each undocking and splashdown.

“We’ll keep crossing our fingers there on the weather,” Sarah Walker, SpaceX’s director of Dragon mission administration, advised reporters throughout a information briefing on Saturday (Nov. 6). NASA and SpaceX plan to deliver Endeavour down within the Gulf of Mexico, moderately than within the Atlantic Ocean, Walker added.

According to Walker, floor wind speeds on the candidate splashdown websites are presently barely above the brink that permits crews to land safely. Teams are continuing towards undocking at 12:04 p.m. EST (1704 GMT) on Sunday however will reassess every little thing early Sunday morning. At that point, if the winds have died down sufficient that the crew can land safely, the groups will proceed as deliberate. If not, they’ll goal the backup try for undocking on Monday. 

The Crew-2 astronauts had been scheduled to do a fly-around maneuver after undocking, during which they circle the space station within the Dragon capsule and take photographs. This exercise was designed to enable crews and people on the bottom to examine the growing older space station’s exterior and see if there are any areas that want consideration. 

“This is a procedure that we used to do with the space shuttle back in the day,” Pesquet advised reporters on Friday afternoon (Nov. 5) throughout a media briefing. “The reason is because we don’t have that many opportunities to see the station from outside.”

Pesquet added that there are cameras mounted on the station’s exterior, however they’re restricted in quantity and scope, so a flyaround would enable the crew to {photograph} completely different targets reminiscent of docking ports and different exterior constructions that they won’t find a way to see in any other case. 

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Unfortunately, due to climate considerations, NASA officers stated throughout Saturday’s briefing that this maneuver will not occur if Endeavour does certainly depart on Sunday. This resolution offers the groups the very best likelihood to goal a protected touchdown alternative for the crew. If the departure will get pushed to Monday, the groups will reassess whether or not or not to carry out a flyaround on that day, NASA officers stated.

If the Crew-2 astronauts do depart Sunday and splash down Monday, SpaceX might be in a position to assist its subsequent astronaut launch to the station, that of the Crew-3 mission, as early as Wednesday night (Nov. 10). 

Currently, NASA and SpaceX are focusing on a Wednesday liftoff at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT on Thursday, Nov. 11) for Crew-3, which is able to ship NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron and ESA’s Matthias Maurer to the orbital outpost for six months.

If Crew-3 does launch Wednesday evening as deliberate, it should arrive on the space station lower than 24 hours later, round 7:10 p.m. EST on Thursday (1210 GMT on Nov. 12).

Editor’s word: This story has been up to date to embody NASA’s new undocking and splashdown instances for Crew-2 after a climate delay. 

Follow Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Follow us on Twitter@Spacedotcom orFacebook.

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