The spacecraft is anticipated to the touch down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday at 2:48 pm ET. Behnken and Hurley’s safe homecoming will mark the tip to an historic two-month mission and pave the way in which for the US to as soon as once more develop into a world chief in human spaceflight.

The astronauts have been aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Dragon Endeavour, since Saturday night when it undocked from the International Space Station.

Behnken and Hurley started their historic two-month journey to the ISS in May, when the astronauts launched inside their Crew Dragon spacecraft from a floor pad in Florida. It was the primary NASA astronaut launch from US soil since 2011 and the primary time in historical past {that a} commercially developed spacecraft carried people into orbit.

Overnight, the car carried out a sequence of engine burns to decrease the car’s altitude, getting ready to take a dramatic plunge again into the Earth’s thick ambiance later as we speak.

Adding to the drama is Tropical Storm Isaias, which is barreling towards Florida’s east coast and threatening violent winds able to damaging roofs and buildings.

NASA and SpaceX predetermined seven potential splashdown websites for this mission, 4 of that are to the west of Florida within the Gulf of Mexico: Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee and Panama City. And in that space, the wind and wave heights seem calm sufficient for the Crew Dragon to land safely.

Still, climate officers are retaining a detailed eye on the forecast, and so they may name off the splashdown all the way in which up till the spacecraft begins reentering the Earth’s ambiance.

Behnken and Hurley — each married to fellow NASA astronauts —have younger households ready at house for them. Their sons dispatched a wake-up message for the astronauts this morning.

“Rise and shine daddy, we love you! We can’t wait to see you — wake up, wake up! …Don’t worry, you can sleep in tomorrow. Hurry home so we can go get my dog,” one of many kids mentioned.

The astronauts responded to mission management: “Hopefully the stress’s all on whoever is making the climate name, as a result of these boys appear excited to convey us house.

A secure homecoming is essential. Though SpaceX beforehand launched a Crew Dragon on an uncrewed demonstration mission, Hurley and Behnken’s mission continues to be thought of a check. Both males are veteran NASA astronauts and check pilots particularly educated to reply to any technical points which will come up on the brand new car, and NASA will not formally certify Crew Dragon as a human-rated spacecraft till it makes a secure return.

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