AUG. 1-2, 2020–The historic DM-2 mission and the Launch America campaign draws to a close yesterday and today as Dragon capsule Endeavour prepares to come home carrying astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
Yesterday, at 21:36 UTC, the Dragon forward hatch was closed, and at 22:04 UTC the space between the forward hatch and APAS hatch on PMA-2, known as the vestibule, was depressurized.
The Endeavour capsule successfully undocked from the PMA-2 port at 23:35 UTC, autonomously completing four departure burns. Endeavour exited the ISS Keep-Out sphere at 23:43 UTC, and terminated joint-operations with the ISS by leaving the approach ellipsoid at 23:56 UTC, August 1.
After undocking, the crew slept in orbit, as Endeavour conducted a phase burn autonomously and successfully during their sleep period.
Coming up next is the Entry, Descent, and Landing portion of the DM-2 mission, which will be the final set of events that brings Bob and Doug home.
The timeline of events, in UTC, are as follows:
- 17:51 – Trunk separation
- 17:56 – Deorbit burn initiated
- 18:08 – Deorbit burn complete
- 18:11 – Nose-cone retracts
- 18:32 – Endeavour orients to re-entry attitude
- 18:36 – Entry interface initiated. Six-minute comms blackout.
- 18:43 – Entry interface complete
- 18:44 – Drogue parachutes deploy at 5,500m (18,000 ft), as Endeavour is moving at 155 m/s (350 mph)
- 18:45 – Main parachutes deploy at 1,800m (6,000 ft) as Endeavour is moving at 53 m/s (119 mph).
- 18:48 – Splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, FL.
Demo Mission-2, or DM-2 for short, launched on May 30 as part of the historic Launch America campaign, viewed worldwide by millions, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. DM-2 was the first flight of a crewed vehicle from the United States since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011, and the first crewed flight of Crew Dragon, SpaceX’s answer to the Commercial Crew Program spearheaded by NASA.
We’ll be covering the return of Endeavour, Bob, and Doug on Twitter at @WeAreSpaceScout. This article may also be updated in the future with more information. In the meantime, Go Endeavour, Go SpaceX, and Go Bob and Doug!