With 200 days of space stay, SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission are all set to return the home planet. They will be leaving the international space station in afternoon on 8th November, 2021. The team consists of Astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Astronaut Megan McArthur, Japanese Engineer Akihiko Hoshide and Astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. The team will be boarding a crew dragon Capsule on the outpost orbital Sunday. Their capsule, better known by its name “Endeavour” will help them bid farewell to their other teammates and bring them back safely to our planet, Earth. The estimated time for the splash down is 10:33 P.M EST.
NASA TV is broadcasting the entire event live on the Space.com homepage. On Monday, coverage will begin at 11:45 a.m. EST, drop off as the hatch closes, and then resume at 1:45 p.m. EST for departure. According to NASA officials, coverage will continue until splashdown.
All the ground crew and the onboard members are nervous for the journey and are repetitively going through the plan to clear out any loopholes. The success of coming back home is very important as the capsule will be holding some of the very genius minds who are dedicated to mankind. According to the schedule, the hatches will be closed at 12:40 p.m. EST. Followed by this, undocking between Endeavour and the station will take place at 2:05 p.m. EST. Lastly, if everything goes by the pre-planned schedule, the capsule is expected to splashdown in Florida on Monday i.ie. November 8, early in the evening.
However, Nature and Natural happenings are predictable, and predictions can be wrong. NASA and the mission officials have expressed their concern over weather as well. They have assured the public of keeping the team’s safety as top priority and calling the timeline as “tentative”. They have expressed that if the weather is poor for any of seven splashdown sites, then the undocking will be stopped and the target for Monday will be locked.
SpaceX’s director of Dragon mission management said “We’ll keep crossing our fingers there on the weather” informing the reporters attending the news briefing on November 6. She also mentioned that it is intended to bring Endeavour down in Gulf of Mexico instead of the Atlantic Ocean. She further added that, even if the Endeavour will safely land the astronauts even if the surface wind speeds are higher than the threshold, they would re-evaluate everything in the morning, and will be aiming to died-down winds before landing.
It is planned that the capsule would fly-around the maneuver, to click photos of the station. They would be circling the station in the capsule after undocking. The sole purpose of this task is to have a look at the exterior of the station and assess any upgrades if needed. If the Crew-2 astronauts leave on Sunday and splash down on Monday, SpaceX will be able to assist the Crew-3 mission’s next human launch to the station as early as Wednesday evening i.e. November 10.