Editor’s note: The announcement was updated on April 30, 2021, and provided new information and target dates returned by the agency’s SpaceX Crew1 mission.
Editor’s note: This announcement updates the original announcement issued on April 24, 2021.
NASA SpaceX Crew1 with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi now aims to return no earlier than 2:57 AM EST on Sunday, May 2 in Florida The Gulf of Mexico near the coast reaches the earth. The Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience is scheduled to be disengaged from the International Space Station at 8:35 pm. On Saturday, May 1, start the journey home.
NASA and SpaceX decided to start on Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, respectively. After reviewing the forecast weather conditions in the landing zone near the Florida coast, it is expected that the wind speed will be higher than the return standard. Crew Dragon is in good health on the space station, and the team is now predicting the ideal conditions to splash around and recover over the weekend.
Return to Earth, and pre-return activities, will be broadcast live on NASA television, NASA apps, and the agency website.
This will be the first time a US manned spacecraft has splashed at night since Apollo 8 returned to the Pacific with NASA astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders before dawn on December 27, 1968.
Crew1 en the first of six manned missions that NASA and SpaceX will fly as part of the agency’s commercial crew program. The program works with the US aerospace industry to return astronauts from the United States on American rockets and spacecraft. The
Crew Dragon will automatically leave the space station and leave the space station, and will be able to land in one of seven specific landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Resilience will also bring important and time-sensitive research back to Earth. The NASA and SpaceX teams selected a primary and alternate landing site from seven possible landing sites approximately two days before returning, taking into account weather, crew rescue and recovery operations. Additional decision-making milestones occur before undock, during free flight, and before the Crew Dragon spacecraft performs desorption and combustion.
NASA and SpaceX are closely coordinating with the US Coast Guard to establish a nautical mile safety zone around the scheduled landing site to ensure the safety of the public, personnel involved in recovery operations, and crew members returning to the spacecraft.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew1 report is as follows (all times are ET):
Saturday, May 1
6 pm – NASA television coverage begins at 6:20 pm. Hatch closed
8:15 pm-NASA television coverage begins at 8:35 pm. Cancellation of berth
Sunday, May 2,
at 2:57 am (approximately) – Splashdown (NASA TV will provide continuous reports from berth cancellation to splash)
5 am – Press conference to return to Earth at the NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, With the following participants:
Kathy Lueders, Deputy Administrator, NASA Headquarters Human Exploration and Operations Mission Council
Steve Stich, Kennedy Space Center Commercial Crew Program Manager
Joel Montalbano, International Space Station Manager, Johnson
Holly Ridings, Chief Flight Director, Johnson
Hans Koenigsmann, SpaceX Senior Flight Reliability Advisor
Hiroshi Sasaki, Vice President and CEO of the JAXA Manned Space Technology Council
The media who wish to participate in the Return to Earth press conference by telephone should call the room d e writing by Johnson no later than RSVP Reply to 2814835111 at 4 AM on Sunday May 2. Those who watch the briefing on social media can use #AskNASA to ask questions.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has achieved the goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation from the United States to and from the International Space Station through cooperation with private American companies. By opening up access to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more business opportunities, this partnership is changing the arc of human space history. The space station remains the springboard for NASA’s next big leap in space exploration, including future lunar missions and ultimately missions to Mars.