SpaceX Plans to Bring 2 Astronauts Home on Sunday, But a Tropical Storm May Interfere

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who made spaceflight history on May 30 by becoming the first people to launch to orbit aboard a SpaceX vehicle, might see their weekend homecoming plans thrown to the wind.

 

After docking SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour ship to the International Space Station and spending two months there, the men are preparing to undock on Saturday. They’re due back on Earth on Sunday at 2:48 pm ET (1848 UTC).

NASA is overseeing SpaceX’s experimental mission, called Demo-2. On Wednesday, the agency gave the company a “go” to proceed with its landing plans.

But Tropical Storm Isaias could force the astronauts to stay in orbit a while longer. The storm already hit Puerto Rico with high winds and flash-floods. Its current path would bring bad weather to several potential landing sites by Sunday afternoon – the planned time for the astronauts’ splashdown.

“We cannot wait to get Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth. But of course we have some weather pending,” Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon uses four parachutes for a splashdown, March 2019. (Cory Huston/NASA)

Crew Dragon can’t land if there’s rain, lightning, big waves, or winds exceeding 10 mph (16 km/h)

Isaias officially became a named…

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