SpaceX first crewed operational mission is rapidly coming to an end as NASA is expecting the Crew-1 mission to begin its return to Earth on May 1st at 8:35 PM Eastern. You can watch the historic wrap of the mission on NASA TV below.
Those who are on the East coast should be ready for a late-night view. Though the International Space Station started undocking in the evening of May 1st, the Crew Dragon capsule is only expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico on May 2nd at 2:57 AM.
Due to weather conditions at the potential landding sites, Crew-1 failed to land on April 30th as originally planned. Astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi (of JAXA), and Shannon Walker have spent about six months in orbit aboard the ISS.
SpaceX will see this as a great moment, as it just launched its Crew-2 mission days earlier. It’s also a great one for NASA, as well. The agency said that this is the first nighttime splashdown for a US-crewed spacecraft since Apollo 8 on December 27th, 1968 … about 53 years ago.
NASA is eager to tout its revival of domestic crewed spaceflight, and missions like Crew-1 show those accomplishments and the agonizingly long intervals that define American space exploration.