NASA Delays SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Departure From The Space Station

NASA Delays SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Departure From The Space Station

SpaceX Crew-1 NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will soon return to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) after six months of conducting science research in microgravity. The crew was previously scheduled to departure the orbiting laboratory on Wednesday but the agency delayed their return due to unfavorable weather conditions. “NASA and SpaceX agreed to move Crew-1’s undocking and splashdown from Wednesday, April 28, following a review of forecast weather conditions in the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida, which currently predict wind speeds above the recovery criteria,” the agency announced in a press release. They now target to return Crew-1 astronauts to Earth aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience on Saturday, May 1 at 11:36 a.m. EDT. The astronauts will depart the Space Station and begin their journey home on April 30. The spacecraft will autonomously undock from the ISS Harmony module on Friday afternoon at 5:55 p.m. EDT to initiate its return sequence. “Teams will continue to monitor weather conditions for splashdown ahead of Friday’s planned undocking,” NASA said.

Crew-1 astronauts will wear their sleek SpaceX spacesuits as they reenter Earth’s rough atmosphere. The suit provides a pressurized environment to keep the astronauts safe in the unlikely event that Crew Dragon loses pressure or malfunctions. Upon reentry the spacecraft is set to conduct a parachute-assisted splashdown in one of seven designated locations in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. “NASA and SpaceX closely coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a 10-nautical-mile safety zone around the expected splashdown location to ensure safety for the public and for those involved in the recovery operations, as well as the crew aboard the returning spacecraft,” the agency said in a press release. NASA and SpaceX recovery teams will navigate aboard ships with medical teams to pick up the astronauts and recover Resilience.

Crew-1 is the first of six crewed operational missions under NASA Commercial Crew Program that aims to make launching astronauts from American soil routine. Crew-2 launched aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 to the Space Station last week. On Tuesday, Crew-1 ISS Commander Shannon Walker handed over command of the Station to Crew-2 JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide during a ceremony. You can watch all upcoming events Live in the video below, courtesy of NASA. Schedule is in Eastern Time.

NASA TV Schedule





Featured Image Source: NASA 

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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