NASA Announces Members of SpaceX's Crew-2 Launch in 2021

Pablo Tucker
August 1, 2020

The capsule has been docked at the space station since May 31, allowing Hurley and Behnken to chip in with spacewalks and experiments.

Hurricane Isaias strengthened slightly as it tore past the Bahamas on Saturday, bearing down on Florida and expected to approach the southeast of the state later in the day before traveling up the eastern USA seaboard.

"We're watching (forecasts) closely, mostly to maintain awareness and see the trends, and understand what the timeline would be if our recovery out of the water, for example, was delayed a little bit", Behnken said Friday from the space station during a NASA news briefing. Hurley said that it would not be new to the crew if he and Benken fell ill while drifting in waves.

"My son is six years old and I can tell from the videos that I get and from talking to him on the phone that he's changed a lot", said Behnken. If the weather or some other problem crops up that might rule out undocking for a Sunday landing, "we know we can stay up here longer", Behnken said. USA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who launched to the space station in May, are expected to board Crew Dragon around 5:30 p.m. ET and splash down at one of seven landing sites in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean at about 2:48 p.m. ET on Sunday.

"This is SpaceX's final test flight and is providing data on the performance of the Falcon 9 rocket, Crew Dragon spacecraft and ground systems, as well as in-orbit, docking, splashdown and recovery operations", NASA said in a release. And it's SpaceX's first test flight to the station with astronauts on board.

Hurley is married to recently retired NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg.

Two NASA astronauts are supposed to return to Earth this weekend onboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft can't land if wind speed is above 10mph (16 km/h) but Storm Isaias was last recorded carrying top sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (135 kph), according to the National Hurricane Centre.

The seven potential Florida splashdown sites for Crew Dragon are off the coasts of Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee, Panama City, Cape Canaveral, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville.

But NASA said it was keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Isaias - a category one storm that battered the Bahamas Friday and was churning toward Florida - and would make a final call about six hours prior to undocking.

The Crew Dragon capsule has two sets of parachutes that slow the spacecraft down as it travels through the Earth's atmosphere. American astronauts went to space with the help of Russian Federation.

Wrapping up a historic mission that marked the return of US -launched manned space travel, two astronauts who flew to the International Space Station in a capsule built and launched by Hawthorne-based SpaceX are scheduled to begin their trip home Saturday. Behnken and Hurley are scheduled to return to Earth on August 2. Their flight is the first time American astronauts have flown from the US since NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011.

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