Hurricane Isaias might delay the return of NASA astronauts who blasted off from Cape Canaveral on May 30 onboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon and docked into International Space Station. However, the American space agency said that the conditions remain “Go” at several of the needed target locations for splashdown and recovery off the Florida coast on August 2.
As of now, the undocking has been scheduled for approximately 7:34pm EDT on August 1, and splashdown at around 2:42pm EDT the next day. After receiving a weather briefing from the US Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, NASA and SpaceX are proceeding with preparations to bring Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley back to Earth.
NEWS: Teams from @NASA and @SpaceX remain GO with plans to bring @Astro_Doug and @AstroBehnken home to Earth on Sunday afternoon. We will continue to monitor weather before undocking Saturday night. Read more: https://t.co/GjXe4q6tQA— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) August 1, 2020
NASA said in a statement that teams continue to closely monitor the impact of Hurricane Isaias on the landing sites in the Gulf of Mexico along the Florida Panhandle. They still have several weather decision milestones before and after undocking to adjust the splashdown time and location based on the forecast.
The farewell ceremony of SpaceX Dragon Demo-2 will begin around 9.10am EDT and NASA TV undocking coverage will start at 5.15pm EDT. After the scheduled splashdown on August 2, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will hold a news conference from the Johnson Space Center along with ISS representatives and other NASA and SpaceX officials.
The Crew Dragon capsule blasted off from Kennedy Space Center's historic Launch Pad 39A on May 30 at 3:22pm EDT to the International Space Station from the American turf for the first time in nine years. The splashdown will mark the first return of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft carrying astronauts from the space station, wrapping up NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 mission.
NASA Television will have continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown. Astronaut Doug Hurley shared the image of Hurricane Isaias from the space station, hoping people in its path remain safe and doesn’t affect the return of SpaceX Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft. A final decision on a primary splashdown target will be taken approximately 6 hours before undocking.
This photo of Hurricane Isaias was taken a few hours ago as it travels northwest between Cuba and the Bahamas. I hope the people in its path stay safe and I hope it doesn’t disrupt our return to Earth on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/nkyldd7NhF— Col. Doug Hurley (@Astro_Doug) July 31, 2020