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Crew Dragon Demo-1 undocking, splashdown

An artist’s rendering of a SpaceX Crew Dragon near International Docking Port 2 at the forward part of the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

An artist’s rendering of a SpaceX Crew Dragon near International Docking Port 2 at the forward part of the International Space Station. Credit: SpaceX

After a planned 5-day mission docked to the International Space Station, SpaceX’s unpiloted Crew Dragon spacecraft undocked and began its return to Earth via a parachute-assisted splashdown in the ocean. The spacecraft docked on March 3.

Approximate departure timeline

—March 7—

Hatch closure: 17:39 UTC

—March 8—

Undocking: 07:32 UTC
Trunk separation: 12:48 UTC
Deorbit burn: 12:50 UTC (15-minute firing of Draco thrusters)
Nose cone close: 13:11 UTC
Entry interface: 13:33 UTC
Parachute deployment: 13:41 UTC
Splashdown: 13:45 UTC

Demo-1 docked with the ISS at 10:51 UTC March 3 and remained at the outpost for five days before before undocking on March 8 to begin its return to Earth for a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Florida.

This mission was a dress rehearsal for SpaceX’s first human spaceflight using a Crew Dragon, currently anticipated for later in 2019 with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

SpaceX with its Crew Dragon, along with Boeing and its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, are the culmination of work ongoing for the better part of the last 10 years to re-establish the United States’ ability to send humans into space from American soil.

For previous launch and docking coverage, click the link below. For undocking updates, follow @OrbitalVel on Twitter.


Editor’s note: This event has passed. More information can be found at the links below.

Earlier Event: March 2
Crew Dragon Demo-1 launch, docking
Later Event: March 14
Soyuz MS-12 launch, docking