The SpaceX return live coverage has just ended – for now– but you can rewatch the video of the two NASA astronauts, landed successfully in the Gulf of Mexico.
Next up, in the SpaceX return schedule: there will be a “post-SpaceX Crew Dragon DM-2 splashdown news conference no earlier than 4:45pm ET,” according to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Everything went according to plan: the astronauts undocked from ISS last night on August 1, landed off the coast of Florida at 2:44pm EDT on August 2, and eventually opened the hatch of the capsule after recovery.
You can watch the historic live video below. SpaceX Crew Dragon astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were lifted out giving a thumbs up. They spent 17 hours in the capsule, going from ISS to Earth.
When the hatch opened on the capsule, it was the first time these NASA astronauts were able breath fresh air in a little over two months.
In total, the astronauts spent two months and three days in the SpaceX capsule and onboard ISS, returning today by landing in the waters off the coast of Florida (on the coast, not the side where there’s Hurricane Isaias).
It’s a dramatic ending to America’s first space mission from US soil in nearly a decade, when the Space Shuttle was retired (on this month back in 2011, actually). It also marks the conclusion of the first commercially-backed human space travel mission, which is a big deal for the future of affordable space travel.
Want another fascinating SpaceX fact? It’s the first splashdown return to earth for US astronauts in about 45 years. Remember: the shuttle program was very different from launch to landing.
Just as we covered the SpaceX launch, and then followed NASA’s ‘Bob and Doug’, as they made their way from Earth’s orbit to their landing site. Here’s how to watch the final moments of the SpaceX mission below.
Watch the SpaceX return video livestream here
The SpaceX returned in live streaming on various video platforms (the future is great, isn’t it?), and you can rewatch the splashdown there too: the SpaceX YouTube livestream, for example, capture the two astronauts from their prep on ISS in space to their landing in the Gulf of Mexico on Earth.
Here’s the SpaceX live video on Twitter:
Webcast of Crew Dragon’s return to Earth from the @space_station with @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK https://t.co/xZmI41Zw5SAugust 1, 2020
Here’s the SpaceX video replay of their splashdown n the Gulf of Mexico:
Good splashdown of Dragon confirmed! Welcome back to Earth, @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug! pic.twitter.com/0vAS3CcK9PAugust 2, 2020
The NASA astronauts actually undocked from ISS last night, August 1, and made their way from the space station to Earth for today’s August 2 return.
SpaceX return time: here’s when it’ll happen
The SpaceX return time was scheduled for 2:42pm EDT. Of course, tuning in early was a wise idea simply because you didn’t want to start the SpaceX live stream video right when they’re splashing down into the water.
Worldwide, this meant the SpaceX return time was 11:42am PDT (in California where SpaceX is located), 7:42pm BST, and the next morning 4:42am AEST. There is, of course, video replays on the SpaceX YouTube channel, but it’s always more exciting to watch these video streams when they’re happening live.
What happens after today’s SpaceX return
The SpaceX landing live stream today ended the Demo-2 mission for the two NASA astronauts, but there will be an intense review of all data for certification, according to NASA. The benefit of reusable rockets is not only that it makes space travel cheaper, but that you can better evaluate stress on everything involved in the launch.
In late September, barring any delays, the LC-39A launch pad at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, will host the next set of NASA astronauts to go to space: Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They will fly Dragon’s first six-month operational mission (Crew-1).