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TIMELINE: Here’s what will happen as Inspiration4 returns to Earth

First Dragon crew to splashdown in the Atlantic, SpaceX says

This photo provided by SpaceX shows the passengers of Inspiration4 in the Dragon capsule on their first day in space. They are, from left, Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Chris Sembroski and Sian Proctor.   SpaceX got them into a 363-mile (585-kilometer) orbit following Wednesday nights launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. That's 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station.  (SpaceX via AP)
This photo provided by SpaceX shows the passengers of Inspiration4 in the Dragon capsule on their first day in space. They are, from left, Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Chris Sembroski and Sian Proctor. SpaceX got them into a 363-mile (585-kilometer) orbit following Wednesday nights launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. That's 100 miles (160 kilometers) higher than the International Space Station. (SpaceX via AP)

The crew of the historic Inspiration4 mission is expected to return to Earth on Saturday with splashdown planned to take place at 7:06 p.m.

SpaceX announced the splashdown time in a post on Twitter Friday evening.

The post also said that the Dragon capsule would have to perform two burns to reduce the spacecraft’s altitude to ~365km or 226.8 miles above the Earth.

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According to the private space company, both maneuvers have been completed successfully.

SpaceX also released an approximate timeline for the Dragon capsule’s return to Earth.

  • 5:32 a.m. Forward hatch close
  • 6:11 p.m. Trunk jettison
  • 6:16 p.m. Deorbit burn start
  • 6:31 p.m. Deorbit burn end
  • 6:35 p.m. Nosecone closed
  • 7:02 p.m. Drogues parachutes deploy
  • 7:03 p.m. Main parachutes deploy
  • 7:06 p.m. Dragon splashdown

According to SpaceX, Inspiration4 will be the first Dragon crew to splashdown in the Atlantic.

None of the Inspiration4 mission crew have undergone NASA astronaut training. Billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman purchased a ride from SpaceX and through a fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and a national competition filled the other three seats on the Dragon spacecraft. The rest of the crew include St. Jude physicians assistant Hayley Arceneaux, geoscience professor Dr. Sian Proctor and aerospace engineer Chris Sembroski.


About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. 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.