The departure and return to Earth of a four-person space station crew on a SpaceX Dragon capsule has been postponed again by high winds in the splashdown zone in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA and SpaceX officials announced the Crew Dragon is now scheduled to undock from the International Space Station late Saturday for a predawn splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico early Sunday.
In the home stretch of nearly a half-year on the International Space Station, four astronauts suited up and rode their SpaceX-owned Crew Dragon “Resilience” spaceship to a new docking port outside the orbiting research lab Monday, a first-of-its kind maneuver for the new generation of commercial crew spaceships.
Four astronauts strapped into their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Monday and rode along for an automated maneuver to relocate the capsule to a different docking port outside the International Space Station. The relocation maneuver, which concluded with a link-up with the new docking port 7:08 a.m. EDT (1108 GMT), was the first of its kind for a Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The Falcon 9 booster that launched four astronauts toward orbit last weekend arrived back on Florida’s Space Coast Thursday aboard a SpaceX drone ship, sailing into Port Canaveral with a lean but otherwise in seemingly good shape after it apparently slid across the ship’s deck in high winds and rough seas. Assuming post-flight inspections reveal no major issues, SpaceX aims to reuse the booster to launch the next Crew Dragon mission in 2021.