SpaceX, NASA delay Crew-6 Dragon astronauts’ return to Earth due to bad weather (Image Credit: Space.com)
Four astronauts on the International Space Station now have to wait at least one more day to return to Earth after bad weather delayed their SpaceX capsule’s return.
SpaceX and NASA announced Friday (Sept. 1) that the Crew Dragon capsule carrying their Crew-6 astronauts will now depart the International Space Station (ISS) no earlier than early Sunday (Sept. 3), a 24-hour delay that pushes the crew’s splashdown to just after midnight Monday morning. The Crew-6 astronauts were originally slated to undock on Saturday and land the next day.
“NASA and SpaceX are standing down from the Saturday, Sept. 2, departure opportunities for the agency’s Crew-6 mission from the International Space Station due to unfavorable weather conditions near the splashdown sites off the coast of Florida,” NASA officials wrote in an update Friday morning (Sept. 1).
The Crew-6 Dragon capsule is now scheduled to undock from the ISS on Sunday at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT), with splashdown to follow on Monday at 12:07 a.m. EDT (0407 GMT). But that schedule depends on local weather conditions at the Crew-6 Dragon’s splashdown sites, NASA officials said.
“Mission teams will meet Friday evening to determine the viability of the next Crew-6 undock target,” the wrote in the update. “The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, remains healthy while currently docked to the space station as Crew-6 prepares for their return trip to Earth completing a nearly six-month science mission in orbit.”
We began the mission as crewmates, but now we’re brothers.🤍 Over the last 6 months, I gained a new family – with whom I shared expertise, traditions, and cultures, and experienced beautiful and challenging moments while creating unforgettable memories together. pic.twitter.com/Y31GcfIvtrAugust 31, 2023
The four astronauts returning to Earth on Crew-6 are NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, the United Arab Emirates’ Sultan Al Neyadi and Andrey Fedyaev of Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos. They launched to the space station on March 3 and are completing a six-month expediting to the ISS.
“We began the mission as crewmates, but now we’re brothers,” Al Neyadi, the UAE’s first long-duration astronaut to the ISS, said on X (formerly known as Twitter) on Aug. 31). “Over the last 6 months, I gained a new family – with whom I shared expertise, traditions, and cultures, and experienced beautiful and challenging moments while creating unforgettable memories together.”