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
April 29, Thursday
9:40 a.m. – International Space Station Expedition 65 in-flight interview with CBS News for its streaming service CBSN and NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur
11 a.m. – “What Do Scientists Hope to Learn With NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover?” – Hearing before the House Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics (All Channels)
April 30, Friday
5:20 a.m. – International Space Station Expedition 65 in-flight event for ESA (European Space Agency) with ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and European media (All Channels)
3:30 p.m. – Coverage of the hatch closure of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” prior to the Crew-1 undocking from the International Space Station (Hatch closure scheduled at
3:50 p.m. EDT) – Johnson Space Center/Hawthorne, Calif. (All Channels)
5:30 p.m. – Coverage of the undocking of the SpaceX Crew Dragon “Resilience” from the Harmony zenith port at the International Space Station and continuous coverage of through splashdown and crew recovery on Saturday, May 1 (Undocking scheduled at 5:55 p.m. EDT; Hopkins, Glover, Noguchi, Walker) – Johnson Space Center/Hawthorne, Calif.
May 1, Saturday
Continuous coverage of the return of the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard “Resilience” and splashdown (Splashdown scheduled at 11:36 a.m. EDT) – Johnson Space Center/Hawthorne, Calif. 1:30 p.m. – SpaceX Crew Dragon Crew-1 splashdown news conference (time subject to change) (All Channels)
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: NASA
About the Author
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.