SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts are ready to return to Earth aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft after a six-month-long stay at the International Space Station (ISS). Crew-1 is SpaceX’s first operational mission out of six that are planned under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that officially returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States. SpaceX launched the second operational mission (Crew-2) on Friday. Crew-1 astronauts welcomed Crew-2 to ISS and had dinner with the three Russian cosmonauts who are also working at the ISS Lab, photo below. Read more: SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Dock To The Space Station After An Exciting Ride
Crew-1 NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi discussed their upcoming voyage back to Earth during a question & answer session livestreamed by NASA this morning, video linked below. “This whole mission has been amazing… as the only first-time flyer in the group, every single thing we’ve done up here has been the first time I’ve been able to do that,” Astronaut Glover said when asked what was the best part of the Crew-1 mission, “But one thing that did really profoundly impact me was the very first time I got out of the seat, after Resilience was safely in orbit, and I looked out the window and saw that Earth from 250-miles up. I will never forget that moment. And I actually recorded it because I really wanted to remember how it felt, it was not about the view, it was about how the view made me feel. […] Earth is amazing, is beautiful; It protects us, so, we should work hard to protect it,” Glover said with excitement.
Their departure from the Space Station is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28. The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft will autonomously undock from ISS Harmony module at 7:05 a.m. EDT. It will reenter Earth’s rough atmosphere to splashdown at around 12:40 p.m. EDT in one of seven designated landing zones 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. The astronauts packed important ‘time-sensitive’ science research aboard the Resilience spacecraft that will be brought back for scientists to analyze. UPDATE: NASA announced on April 27 that the astronauts will now depart April 30 & splashdown on May 1st. For more info read article linked below.
.@NASA and @SpaceX agreed to move Crew-1’s undocking and splashdown from April 28 following a review of forecast weather conditions in the splashdown zones. Teams are now targeting:— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) April 27, 2021
🐉 April 30, 5:55pm ET: Undocking
🪂 May 1, 11:36am ET: Splashdown
💻: https://t.co/FPp1I86BEt pic.twitter.com/v3zs1UeAtH
During the six months working at the orbiting laboratory, “Crew-1 worked on a number of experiments as part of Expedition 64 […] including tissue chips that mimic the structure and function of human organs to understand the role of microgravity on human health and diseases, and translate those findings to improve human health on Earth,” the agency said, “Astronauts also grew radishes in different types of light and soils as part of ongoing efforts to produce food in space, and tested a new system to remove heat from spacesuits.” Watch Crew-1 return to Earth in the video below on Wednesday, courtesy of NASA Television. Schedule is in Eastern Time.
Crew-1 Astronauts Discuss Their Time At The Space Station & Upcoming Return
NASA TV LIVE SCHEDULE
Tuesday, April 27
1:25 p.m. EDT – Change of Command and Crew-1 farewell remarks aboard the International Space Station
Wednesday, April 28
4:45 a.m. EDT – NASA TV coverage begins for 5 a.m. hatch closure
6:45 a.m. EDT – NASA TV coverage begins for the 7:05 a.m. undocking
12:40 p.m. EDT – Splashdown (NASA TV will provide continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown)
2:30 p.m. EDT – Return to Earth news conference.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.