The two US astronauts who touched the International Space Station onboard the first crewed US spacecraft in nearly 20 years will leave for Earth on August 1, NASA’s chief said Friday.
“Splashdown is targeted for Aug. 2. Weather will drive the actual date. Stay tuned,” tweeted the US space agency’s administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley took off from Florida aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule on May 30, becoming the first astronauts to hitch a ride to the ISS onboard a commercial spaceship, which is under contract with NASA.
It was the first time a crewed spaceship was launched from the United States since 2011 when the space shuttle program was ended.
Between then and this mission, American astronauts traveled exclusively on Russian rockets.
Eventually, Dragon will regularly bring four astronauts to the ISS at a time, from NASA and partner space agencies in Canada, Japan, Europe, and potentially Russia.
This will be the first time the SpaceX capsule will make the journey to Earth with astronauts, having successfully completed an uncrewed test run in 2019. Read here