Skip to main content

SpaceX and NASA’s Crew Dragon set to return to Earth on August 1

NASA and SpaceX’s historic Demo-2 Crew Dragon mission now has an end date.

NASA is planning for the Crew Dragon and its passengers to depart from the International Space Station (ISS) on August 1, according to a tweet by administrator Jim Bridenstine, with astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley set to splashdown on August 2 after two months spent on the space station.

NEWS: We're targeting an Aug. 1 departure of @SpaceX's Dragon Endeavour spacecraft from the @Space_Station to bring @AstroBehnken and @Astro_Doug home after their historic #LaunchAmerica mission. Splashdown is targeted for Aug. 2. Weather will drive the actual date. Stay tuned.

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) July 17, 2020

These dates will be dependent on the weather and could change in the future.

The crewed test flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule was the first time that American astronauts had launched from American soil since the shuttering of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. The two NASA astronauts made it to the ISS smoothly in a problem-free 19-hour trip. While onboard, they have been monitoring the performance of the Crew Dragon capsule and assisting the other ISS astronauts with science experiments.

The mission was scheduled to last between one and three months, depending on the readiness of NASA’s commercial crew program and also the performance of the Crew Dragon. With everyone apparently satisfied that the required tests have been performed, Behnken and Hurley can return to Earth where they will splash down in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the Florida coast.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Dou Hurley (right) aboard the International Space Station
NASA astronauts Bob Behnken (left) and Dou Hurley (right) aboard the International Space Station NASA

On the day of the launch, Bridenstine described the mission as  “a new era in human spaceflight,” adding that, “The launch of this commercial space system designed for humans is a phenomenal demonstration of American excellence and is an important step on our path to expand human exploration to the moon and Mars.”

Editors' Recommendations

Georgina Torbet
Georgina is the Digital Trends space writer, covering human space exploration, planetary science, and cosmology. She…
Spot the space station with this new NASA app
The International Space Station.

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits Earth 16 times a day, which means that at some point it’s likely to pass over your neighborhood.

Despite being 250 miles above our heads, it’s actually easy to spot the ISS thanks to the reflection that occurs when the sun’s rays bounce off its solar arrays. You just need to know when to look up.

Read more
Space station crew investigating yet another coolant leak
The Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is pictured docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

A Soyuz spaceship docked to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module in 2021. NASA / NASA

The International Space Station (ISS) is reportedly dealing with yet another coolant leak.

Read more
NASA’s Frank Rubio has just done something very unusual in space
Frank Rubio aboard the space station.

Frank Rubio aboard the space station. NASA

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio marked one whole year in space on Thursday.

Read more