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NASA sets date for SpaceX Crew Dragon astronauts to return to Earth

Get ready for the Crew Dragon Demo-2 homecoming.

behnkenhurleyspacex
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were strapped into Crew Dragon and ready to go prior to a launch scrub on May 27.
SpaceX

After some false starts, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley made history by riding a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft all the way to the International Space Station in late May. We now have a completion date that will bring the historic Demo-2 mission full circle.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine delivered the official word that Aug. 1 is the targeted date for the Crew Dragon capsule (nicknamed "Endeavour") to depart from the ISS, with a splashdown back on Earth set for Aug. 2.

The early August return date fits into the time frame NASA had originally planned for the mission, but it's possible the date could slip based on weather conditions at the Atlantic Ocean landing site. 

A SpaceX recovery vessel will be tasked with welcoming Behnken and Hurley home and with plucking Crew Dragon out of the water.

The spacecraft performed admirably on the first leg of the journey and while docked to the ISS. NASA and SpaceX are hoping for an uneventful return so Crew Dragon can go into regular service as an astronaut ferry from Earth to the station.  

If all goes well with the final leg of Demo-2, the first operational Crew Dragon mission could happen this fall, fully opening up the Commercial Crew era for US spaceflight.

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