SpaceX announces time for Inspiration4 splashdown

Dragon capsule expected to return to Earth Saturday

SpaceX announced online Friday what time the Dragon capsule carrying the Inspiration4 crew is planned to splashdown after orbiting the Earth since their launch on Wednesday.

The private space company made the announcement about its first group of space tourists in a post on Twitter.

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“The @inspiration4x crew is set to return to Earth on Saturday, September 18 with a targeted splashdown at 7:06 p.m. EDT in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida,” the post reads.

SpaceX added that the Dragon capsule will “perform two burns tonight to reduce the spacecraft’s altitude to ~365km (226.8 miles above the Earth) and line up the ground track with the landing site.”

The capsule has been in orbit at 357 miles above the Earth since its historic launch on Wednesday.

The announcement of the splashdown came moments after the crew wrapped up a live broadcast from orbit to discuss their time in space.

SpaceX has not said where the capsule will be splashing down, a practice it began after its Demo 2 mission when private boaters rushed toward the capsule.

That caused Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken had to wait a little longer for their Dragon spacecraft nicknamed Endeavour to be recovered due to some unwanted spectators in the splashdown area.

About a dozen private vessels in the splashdown area were told to leave as they attempted to approach the SpaceX spacecraft. It was a situation that could have gone badly as the spacecraft has hazardous and explosive chemicals, including nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.