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Four astronauts are scheduled to return home from the International Space Station this week, completing a nearly six-month mission in space, but bad weather at the crew’s landing site has delayed it.
NASA astronauts Shel Lindgren, Bob Hynes, and Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti leave the space station on Thursday morning aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. We were due to leave. However, NASA was forced to postpone the departure due to worsening weather on Earth.
The southern half of Florida is expected to experience thunderstorms Thursday afternoon. According to CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett, the storm will continue to move south, and while much of Florida will look sunny, winds will pick up in the northern Gulf Coast.
NASA and SpaceX are currently evaluating other potential undocking opportunities. The crew’s next departure time is Friday at 11:35 a.m., according to a NASA livestream spokesperson. Delays in the launch of the spacecraft and his return from the ISS due to bad weather are very common. Especially as an unpredictable storm hits the collision site off the coast of Florida.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft, which returns astronauts, typically has seven potential landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, offshore Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee, Panama City, Cape Canaveral, Daytona and Jacksonville. .
It’s not yet clear which splashdown site NASA and SpaceX are targeting on Friday.
The mission, called Crew-4, was a historic first on the ISS, as Jessica Watkins became the first black woman to join the space station crew for an extended stay.
Since Gion Bruford first went to space in 1983, more than a dozen black Americans, including five black women, have gone to space. I have worked in space for a long time.
Aerospace company SpaceX has developed the Crew Dragon spacecraft under a $2.6 billion contract with NASA as part of its commercial crew program.
The idea behind this program was to shift NASA to the role of customer. This will allow the private company to design, build and test new spacecraft to service his NASA astronauts, while giving the company ownership of the vehicle.
Nearly a decade after NASA’s Space Shuttle program was discontinued in 2011, the United States had to rely on buying seats on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft to get astronauts to and from the ISS. SpaceX renewed its manned spaceflight capability from the continental United States in 2020 and launched his Demo-2 mission, which carried two of her NASA astronauts to the space station.
Crew-4 is the fifth flight SpaceX has conducted as part of the NASA partnership, and the space agency continues to purchase additional flights from the company led by founder and CEO Elon Musk.
Crew-4 astronauts’ return to Earth comes less than a week after Crew-5 astronauts arrived in another SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The two mission teams spent the past few days in a short handover period to ensure a smooth transition between crew members.
NASA officials continue to expand their partnership with NASA and SpaceX, increasing the value of the overall contract to cover a total of 15 manned missions worth more than $4.9 billion.
However, since SpaceX developed the Crew Dragon under a fixed-price commercial contract, it retains ownership of the vehicle. This means privately held companies can also sell seats to anyone who wants them. SpaceX has already conducted two of his Crew Dragon missions fully funded by wealthy thrill-seekers. Also, future private missions are underway.