Hurricane might delay SpaceX-NASA return trip from ISS

WION Web Team Washington, DC, United States of America Aug 01, 2020, 02.20 PM(IST)

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley Photograph:( AFP )

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Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off from Cape Canaveral on May 30 on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon, and are supposed to splash down off the coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon.

The first US astronauts to reach the International Space Station in nearly a decade might not come home this weekend as scheduled because of Hurricane Isaias.

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley blasted off from Cape Canaveral on May 30 on board a SpaceX Crew Dragon, and are supposed to splash down off the coast of Florida on Sunday afternoon.

For now, undocking remains scheduled for approximately 7:34 pm (2334 GMT) Saturday, and splashdown at 2:42 pm (1842 GMT) on Sunday.

But NASA said it was keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Isaias -- a category one storm that battered the Bahamas on Friday and was churning toward Florida.

NASA would make a final call about six hours prior to undocking.

The potential splashdown sites are in the Gulf of Mexico and along Florida's Atlantic coast.

The mission marked the first time a crewed spaceship launched into orbit from American soil since 2011 when the Space Shuttle program ended. It was also the first time a private company has flown to the ISS carrying astronauts.