SpaceX Crew-1 splashdown: How to watch live as NASA astronauts come home

The second Crew Dragon to carry humans into space is set to leave the ISS and splash down in the ocean this weekend.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read
Crew-1 Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft

The Crew-1 Crew Dragon Resilience during an ISS port relocation.


The ISS is a little crowded right now with a crew of 11 astronauts and cosmonauts on board. Four of them are scheduled to come home this weekend as SpaceX's Crew-1 wraps up its mission. NASA had originally been targeting Wednesday for the return journey, but pushed the date back a couple of times due to weather concerns at the possible splashdown sites.

This will be the second time humans have returned to Earth on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, building on the success of the Demo-2 mission in 2020.

NASA TV will carry live coverage of the return starting at 3 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 1 with the hatch closure as the crew tucks into the Dragon capsule. Undocking coverage is set for 5:15 p.m. PT on Friday, and the splashdown is now scheduled for 11:57 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 1, which pushes the culmination of the journey into the early hours of the morning in the Eastern time zone.

NASA and SpaceX choose the final splashdown location from among a menu of options in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico based on Crew Dragon's orbital location, where the rescue teams are stationed and what the weather is doing back on Earth. 

In an update on Friday, NASA cited "predicted wind speeds above the return criteria" in the splashdown zones as the main reason for delaying the return voyage.

The Crew Dragon capsule, named Resilience, launched in November with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker on board along with Soichi Noguchi of Japan's space agency, JAXA. All four will return this week if the schedule holds.

That will still leave one Crew Dragon docked to the ISS, as the Crew-2 mission arrived on the Endeavour spacecraft over the weekend. SpaceX is part of NASA 's Commercial Crew Program, which had the goal of bringing ISS launches back to US soil. So far, it's going swimmingly.

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