The NASA-SpaceX Demo-2 mission concludes Sunday when U.S. astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken return to Earth and report on their findings.
Completing its two-month journey to the International Space station and back, the spacecraft is expected to splash down at 2:48 pm ET, with a target landing area off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico.
NASA TV is hosting a livestream of the astronauts’ return (embedded above). In addition, Discovery and Science Channel will air full coverage of the three-hour event beginning at 1 pm ET.
The newly named Dragon Endeavor spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station at 7:35 p.m. ET Saturday after more than two months of docked operations in orbit. Behnken and Hurley’s trip lasted 63 days in total — about 1,024 orbits around the Earth — and their return marks the first landing at sea for U.S. astronauts since 1975. The spacecraft will begin a six-minute departure phasing burn at 1:48 pm ET in order to align with the proper orbital path for landing.
The mission originally launched May 30 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida as part of a partnership between SpaceX and NASA. The launch marked the first manned space mission since the shuttle program was retired in 2011. The capsule was built by SpaceX, a private company owned by Elon Musk.