Watch SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts depart space station and return to Earth today after delay (Image Credit: Space.com)
Updated on Oct. 14: SpaceX and NASA are aiming to undock the Crew Dragon Freedom from the International Space Station today, Oct. 14, at 11:35 a.m. EDT (1535 GMT) to return its four Crew-4 astronauts to Earth. The mission’s departure has been delayed two days due to bad weather at the Dragon’s splashdown site off the coast of Florida. NASA’s live webcast of undocking will begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT).
SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission will leave the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday (Oct. 14) after two weather delays, and you can watch the action live.
Crew-4’s Dragon capsule, named Freedom, will attempt undocking a third time at some point on Friday, NASA officials said in a tweet (opens in new tab). This is following two undocking delays Wednesday (Oct. 13) and Thursday (Oct. 14) due to weather, NASA officials said. The splashdown date is also delayed from what was supposed to be today (Thursday).
“@NASA and @SpaceX mission controllers wave-off #Crew4 undocking in Dragon Freedom today due to weather concerns at the Florida splashdown site. Friday undocking times are currently being assessed,” officials wrote (opens in new tab).
When the undocking happens, you can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly via the space agency (opens in new tab).
After splashdown on the Florida coast, NASA and SpaceX plan to hold a post-splashdown press conference at a timing to be announced.
That briefing will feature Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program; Joel Montalbano, NASA’s International Space Station program manager; and a SpaceX representative, according to previous information from NASA.
None of these times are set in stone, however; they’re dependent on good expected weather in Freedom’s potential splashdown zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Crew-4 launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on April 27 and arrived at the ISS that same day. The mission consists of Cristoforetti and NASA astronauts Robert Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins.
As its name suggests, Crew-4 is the fourth contracted astronaut mission that SpaceX has flown to the orbiting lab for NASA. It’s one of two SpaceX flights currently at the ISS; Crew-5 arrived on Oct. 6 for a five-month stay.
This story was updated at 3:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 12 with news of the undocking delay and the updated undocking opportunities. This story was updated again at 9:17 a.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 13 with news of the undocking and splashdown delays due to weather.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).