NASA pushes back Crew-2 undocking due to high winds

Undocking from space station set for 2:05 p.m. Monday

The crew for the second long-duration SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, are pictured during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the (ESA (European Space Agency); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Photo credit: SpaceX (SpaceX, Here is our public domain dedication.

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.

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The Crew-2  flight will return to Earth with NASA astronauts  Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur,  JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut  Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

“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.

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.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.