SpaceX Dragon with Crew-6 astronauts undocks from space station. Here’s how to watch its landing live tonight. (Image Credit: Space.com)
A SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying four Crew-6 astronauts is headed back to Earth with four astronauts aboard to wrap up a six-month space mission and you can watch its splashdown live online early Monday (Sept. 4).
The Dragon spacecraft Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT) today after a one-day delay due to bad weather at its splashdown site. The two spacecraft separated in darkness as the station was over the night side of Earth flying 256 miles above the Pacific Ocean at the time.
The SpaceX Dragon is scheduled to splashdown off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida at 12:17 a.m. EDT (0417 GMT) on Monday, NASA officials said. You can watch that homecoming live here at Space.com as well; coverage will begin Sunday at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 GMT on Monday).
“It’s been a real privilege and honor to be up here for this expedition,” NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, Crew-6 commander, radioed to Mission Control just before undocking. “We’re coming up on 23 years of continuous occupation of the International Space Station, which is absolutely amazing and it’s been a real privilege to be a part of it.”
Bowen is returning to Earth with Crew-6 pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, the United Arab Emirates’ Sultan Al Neyadi and Andrey Fedyaev of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos. They have spent almost exactly six months in orbit; Endeavour docked with the ISS on March 3.
NASA and SpaceX initially aimed to return the Crew-6 astronauts to on Saturday, but announced a 24-hour delay on Friday morning (Sept. 1). After a weather briefing early Saturday, mission managers decided to press ahead with undocking and splashdown, but only if weather conditions are favorable. It should take about 17 hours for the Crew-6 astronauts to return to Earth, NASA officials said.
“You’re truly space kings,” Mission Control radioed to the Crew-6 astronauts as they left the space station. “You’ve done an incredible job, and to say it’s been a pleasure to support you guys during this mission would be an understatement. Let’s send you guys home. ”
Crew-7 is an even more international affair than Crew-6. The new mission features four astronauts from four different space agencies: Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, Andreas Mogensen of the European Space Agency, Konstantin Borisov of Roscosmos and Satoshi Furukawa of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.