NASA has revealed that the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft that left Earth for the International Space Station will be coming back to Earth in early August. This statement was made on July 17 by the agency.
NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine released a statement explaining that they anticipate receiving astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley in the Crew Dragon from the International Space Station on August 2. This spacecraft will be hitting the Florida coastal waters before a recovery team helps the pair out of the craft.
However, Bridenstine adds that these dates are valid, provided the weather conditions are sober. Weather is the only impediment that can cause an alteration of this date. Bridenstine implied this in his July 17 tweet.
NASA has located various dock points in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Initially, the agency had stipulated the leading splashdown site close to the coast near Cape Canaveral so that the astronauts can report at the Kennedy Space Center. However, the astronauts will be docking at the splashdown that is in line with the path of the craft and weather conditions prevailing on the ground.
The August 2nd date verifies that the Demo-2 mission would come in August. This statement one of the first in which NASA gives the precise date for docking. The associate administrator for crewed space vessel navigation and operations, Kathy Lueders, revealed the date in the American Astronautical Society’s Glenn Memorial Symposium on July 17. After this revelation, Bridenstine’s tweet verified the truthfulness of the statement.
NASA’s commercial crew program manager Steve Stich foretold in the June 24th press release that the Crew Dragon would reenter Earth early August. He also explained that the craft was operating well after reaching the International Space Station. Controllers have been checking the spacecraft for safety measures as the astronauts, Behnken and Hurley, and Chris Cassidy and Anatoly Ivanishin, experimenting with its ability to host four people.
NASA extended Demo-2, originally expected to last no more than a couple weeks, to provide more crew time on the ISS.
NASA instructed the astronauts to spend more days on the ISS to test the capability of the Demo-2 mission spacecraft to host the four astronauts and successfully allow for spacewalks by Behnken and Cassidy while changing batteries for the power system of the spaceship among other operations.
In conclusion, Stich reveals that the Crew-1 launch will have to wait until six weeks after the docking of Demo-2 to facilitate the comprehensive review of the Demo-2 Crew Dragon. The crew-1 mission will carry astronauts Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi.