The first astronauts in the United States to reach the International Space Station (ISS) on an American ship Crew Dragon of the SpaceX, they prepare this Saturday for a return home scheduled for this weekend, despite the fact that Hurricane Isaías threatens the coasts of the state of Florida, where the landing will be.
At 16:00 hours in Mexico was when it became known that the NASA had decided that it was a good time for Doug Hurley and Robert Benhken to return to Earth.
“Now will be the phase of entry, descent and landing, after the decoupling that we hope will occur a little later. The teams are working very hard, especially with the weather dynamics in the coming days around Florida. ”
Hurley y Behnken took off from the center of Cape Canaveral on May 30 on board the ship Crew Dragon, from private company SpaceX and they are slated to land near the Florida coast on Sunday.
So far, decoupling remains stipulated for about 18:00 hours in Mexico Saturday and landing for 1:00 pm on Sunday.
“The conditions are for moving forward at the first point, off the coast of Pensacola, and at the alternative point off the coast of Panama City in the Gulf of Mexico, with the landing and recovery on Sunday, August 2.”
For its part, the space agency closely follows the progress of Isaías, a category one hurricane, that heads through the Caribbean to Florida.
“NASA and SpaceX will make the final decision on whether to proceed or not, after the astronauts are already inside the Crew Dragon, just before the decoupling.”
Mission Chief Chris Cassidy stated that this is a “Exciting day” While sad to see Hurley and Behnken depart from the ISS, he also stressed the importance of having new means of transporting astronauts.
The mission was the first of a manned spacecraft launched from US soil. The The last one had been in 2011 when the space shuttle program ended.
This was the first time that a private company flew to the ISS to carry astronauts. For the past nine years, American astronauts had traveled exclusively on rockets Soyuz Russians, priced at about $ 80 million per seat.
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