The return of Crew-2 has once again been pushed back, delayed by high winds near the splashdown zone.
NASA announced early Sunday the undocking of Endeavour, the Crew Dragon spacecraft, would now take place Monday at 2:05 p.m. with splashdown no earlier than 10:33 p.m. the same day.
“Endeavour will undock autonomously and perform a fly around maneuver to photograph the exterior of the International Space Station. Once the maneuver is completed, the Crew Dragon spacecraft will aim for a splashdown at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida,” NASA wrote on its blog.
UPDATE: Due to weather, @SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts will now depart the @Space_Station on Nov. 8.— NASA (@NASA) November 7, 2021
• Undocking: 2:05pm ET (19:05 UTC)
• Splashdown: 10:33pm ET (03:33 UTC Nov. 9)#Crew3 remains scheduled to launch no earlier than Nov. 10 (UTC Nov. 11): https://t.co/62HnEEAQdu pic.twitter.com/97ZKTE737b
Crew-2 has been on the station since April, nearing the end of their Dragon’s 210-day certification for spaceflight.
‘’We don’t know exactly when we’re going to come back home, but one can say for sure it will be sooner rather than later,’’ Crew-2 mission specialist Thomas Pesquest said onboard the station Friday.
NASA is also targeting the launch of Crew-3 no earlier than 9:03 p.m. Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center and later dock at the space station around 7:10 p.m. Thursday.
The Crew-3 flight will carry NASA astronauts Raja Chari, mission commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; and Kayla Barron, mission specialist; as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, also a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission, staying aboard until about late April 2022.
Last week, SpaceX and NASA flipped the order of the launch and landing because of the deteriorating weather and the looming deadline to get the capsule back from the space station. SpaceX capsules are certified for a maximum 210 days in orbit, and the one up there now is approaching 200 days.