WASHINGTON, April 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission with NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) from the International Space Station.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, is scheduled to undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 7:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 28. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 12:40 p.m. for the splashdown and conclusion of the Crew-1 mission. The return to Earth – and activities leading up to the return – will air live on NASA Television, the NASA App, and the agency’s website.
Crew-1 is the first of six crewed missions NASA and SpaceX will fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, which worked with the U.S. aerospace industry to return launches with astronauts on American rockets and spacecraft from American soil.
In advance of departure from the space station, Crew-1 astronaut and station Commander Shannon Walker of NASA will hand over command of the station to JAXA astronaut and Crew-2 member Akihiko Hoshide during a change of command and farewell event.
The Crew Dragon will autonomously undock, depart the space station, and splash down at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Resilience also will return to Earth important and time-sensitive research. For normal crew rescue and recovery operations, the NASA and SpaceX teams select two primary splashdown locations from the seven possible locations about two weeks prior to return, with additional decision milestones taking place prior to crew boarding the spacecraft, during free flight, and before Crew Dragon performs a deorbit burn.
NASA and SpaceX closely coordinate with the U.S. Coast Guard to establish a 10-nautical-mile safety zone around the expected splashdown location to ensure safety for the public and for those involved in the recovery operations, as well as the crew aboard the returning spacecraft.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 return coverage is as follows (all times are Eastern):
Monday, April 26
12:30 p.m. – Crew-1 final news conference aboard the International Space Station
Tuesday, April 27
1:25 p.m. – Change of Command and Crew-1 farewell remarks aboard the International Space Station
Wednesday, April 28
4:45 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 5 a.m. hatch closure
6:45 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for the 7:05 a.m. undocking
12:40 p.m. – Splashdown (NASA TV will provide continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown)
2:30 p.m. – Return to Earth news conference at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, with the following participants:
- Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
- Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy Space Center
- Kenny Todd, deputy manager, International Space Station, Johnson
- NASA astronaut Jessica Meir
- Hans Koenigsmann, Senior Advisor, Flight Reliability, SpaceX
- Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president and director general, JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate
Media wishing to participate in the Return to Earth news conference by telephone must call Johnson’s newsroom at 281-483-5111 to RSVP no later than 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 28. Those following the briefing on social media may ask questions using #AskNASA.
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program has delivered on its goal of safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station from the United States through a partnership with American private industry. This partnership is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science, and more commercial opportunities. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and, eventually, to Mars.
Learn more about splashdown locations, weather criteria and recovery logistics, at:
See full mission coverage, NASA’s commercial crew blog, and more information about the mission at:
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