SpaceX capsule carrying NASA astronauts slated for Aug. 2 return

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 18, 2020

The NASA astronauts who traveled to the International Space Station in SpaceX's first crewed flight in May are expected to return to Earth on August 2 after spending two months in orbit, a NASA spokesman said on Friday. Weather will drive the actual date.

US astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will gear up for the final benchmark test of SpaceX's so-called Demo-2 mission: a coordinated splashdown somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean that will cap NASA's first crewed mission from USA soil in almost a decade.

This return trip is just as critical to the overall success of SpaceX and NASA's Commercial Crew collaboration as was the May launch; it's obviously vital that SpaceX's crew spacecraft be able not only to get astronauts to the Space Station reliably, but also to get them back home again safely, too.

Between then and this mission, American astronauts traveled exclusively on Russian rockets. This first crewed Dragon flight is actually still a demonstration mission, not an official operational ISS crew launch, but NASA made the call to extend it to include Behnken and Hurley contributing to regular station operations during their time on orbit.

It will splash down in the Atlantic, like the Apollo capsules did in the 1960s and 1970s.

This will be the first time the SpaceX capsule will make the journey to Earth with astronauts, having successfully completed an uncrewed test run past year.

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