NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon, will un-dock from the International Space Station (ISS) on August 1, 2020, according to a tweet by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.
For the uninitiated, the duo was part of the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission — the first private spacecraft to carry humans from Earth to the space center.
The Crew Dragon Endeavour (C206) spacecraft was launched from Earth on May 30 with the help of Falcon 9 reusable rocket. Now, after spending almost two months on the ISS, the astronauts will return home on August 2. For your reference, the flight time for the maiden journey was around 19 hours.
However, Bridenstine also added that weather conditions near the arrival date may shift the schedule.
As you might know, Demo-2 was a test mission carried out to test the feasibility of human-crewed spaceflights using the Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA and SpaceX have the first operational flight, known as Crew-1, planned for later this year, where four astronauts will go to space.
If all goes well, the plans include sending tourists on spaceflights by 2021/2022. However, that sounds too far-fetched to the ears as for many of us even stepping out of the house in an achievement. Nonetheless, the Elon Musk-led SpaceX is working hard to bring a new kind of tourism into our lives.
Anyway, we’ll keep you posted on further details of Crew Dragon’s return journey.