Nasa SpaceX Astronauts. The pair are expected to splash down off the coast of Florida just after 14:40 local time (19:40

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[ Nasa SpaceX crew return: Astronauts set for ocean splashdown ]

The pair are expected to splash down off the coast of Florida just after 14:40 local time (19:40 BST) on Sunday.

A successful landing would mean America once again has a fully serviceable, fully certified means of getting its own people into orbit and back.

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The US space agency Nasa and its commercial partner, SpaceX, have chosen a splashdown location well away from Hurricane Isaias, which looks as though it will track up the eastern coast of Florida.

Waiting recovery vessels are therefore being directed to the Gulf of Mexico, to waters off Pensacola and Panama City, in western Florida.

Publisher: BBC News
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Twitter: @BBCWorld
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In case you are keeping track:

SpaceX Crew Dragon Departs, Carrying NASA Astronauts Toward Home

Two astronauts who took the first commercial trip to orbit have left the International Space Station. They are scheduled to return home on Sunday.

The astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, traveled to the space station in May aboard a Crew Dragon capsule built and run by SpaceX, the private rocket company started by Elon Musk.

The Crew Dragon undocked from the space station at 7:35 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, with brief thruster firings pushing the spacecraft back.

As the capsule backed away from the station, Mr. Hurley thanked the current crew of the space station and the teams on the ground that helped manage their mission.

Date: 2020-08-01T15:40:35.000Z
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History-making NASA-SpaceX astronauts undock from International Space Station, set for splashdown

Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who left Earth on May 30, undocked from the International Space Station at about 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and will splash down off the coast of Florida at 2:48 p.m. ET on Sunday. Their journey will be broadcast live by NASA.

Although weather was a top concern as Hurricane Isaias heads to Florida, NASA’s forecasters were encouraged enough to press ahead with undocking.

Stakes are high as the astronauts only have 48 hours of oxygen in their capsule now that the Crew Dragon spacecraft has undocked from the ISS.

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Watch live: 2 NASA astronauts are flying SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon back to Earth on an historic commercial space mission

After traveling more than 27 million miles around planet Earth, NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are headed home inside SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon spaceship.

Despite the threat of Hurricane Isaias strafing coastal Florida with brutal weather, the two-man crew undocked their ship from the International Space Station Saturday evening, beginning the return of the first commercial astronaut mission, called Demo-2.’

SpaceX made history in May when it became the first company in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to launch a spaceship carrying people to the International Space Station. In doing so, Elon Musk’s rocket company also revived the United States’ ability to launch its own astronauts into space, which hadn’t been possible since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011.

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