Astronauts set for ‘splashdown’ off the coast of Florida

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is set for a “splashdown” off the coast of Florida shortly after midnight Monday, marking the end of a nearly six-month mission for four astronauts. 

According to NASA, the splashdown is slated for 12:17 a.m. EST on Monday at one of seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. SpaceX said the splashdown site is located in Jacksonville, Fla. 

The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, is carrying Crew-6 NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan Al Neyadi and Russian Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. 

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft was launched on March 2 and has spent nearly six months at the International Space Station. It will be returning “important and time-sensitive research” to Earth, according to NASA. 

According to NASA, the hatch closed between the spacecraft and the International Space Station around 5:19 a.m. Sunday, before undocking at 7:05 a.m. 

SpaceX said the Dragon will conduct “multiple orbit-lowering maneuvers, jettison the trunk and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere” along its estimated 17-hour trip back to Earth.

The Dragon is designed to land in water, with rescue and recovery personnel prepositioned around the splashdown site, according to NASA.

The spacecraft’s return will be livestreamed on NASA Television, the NASA app and NASA’s website.

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