NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Departure From Space Station Delayed Due to Weather

NASA SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts

The SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts are seated inside the Dragon Freedom crew ship. The commercial crew quartet (from left) are Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, Pilot Robert Hines, Commander Kjell Lindgren, and Mission Specialist Samantha Cristorforetti. Credit: SpaceX

Crew-4 was scheduled to undock from the space station at 7:05 p.m. EDT today to begin their journey back to Earth. They would have splashed down at around 5:41 p.m. on Thursday, October 13. However, due to poor weather near the splashdown zones, the return home has been delayed. Crew-4 has been onboard the ISS since April 27.

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than 10:05 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 13, for Crew-4 undocking from the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Dragon Freedom crew ship. That will kick off the return trip to Earth completing a nearly six-month science mission in orbit. Splashdown is targeted nearly 8 hours later at 5:43 p.m. on Thursday off the coast of Florida.

Mission teams continue to monitor a cold front passing over Florida with the potential to bring high winds and rainy weather near the splashdown zones off the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Mission teams will continue to monitor splashdown and recovery conditions with another weather review around six hours prior to undocking.

SpaceX Dragon Freedom Capsule Docked to Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon Freedom capsule is seen after docking to the International Space Station while the station was orbiting 261 statute miles above the Pacific Ocean. Credit: NASA

Crew 4’s Dragon undocking depends on a variety of factors, including spacecraft readiness, recovery team readiness, weather, sea states, and other factors. Dragon Freedom remains healthy while currently docked to the space station. Back-up undocking opportunities also are available Friday, October 14.

NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the Crew-4 mission with NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren, and Jessica Watkins, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

Dragon’s hatch closing, undocking, and splashdown coverage will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA also will host an audio only post-splashdown news teleconference. Follow all live events at:

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 return coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Thursday, October 13

8 a.m. – Hatch closure coverage begins for 8:20 a.m. hatch closing
9:45 a.m. – Undocking coverage begins for 10:05 a.m. undocking with a Thursday splashdown
5:43 p.m. – Splashdown off the coast of Florida
7 p.m. – Return to Earth media teleconference call from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • Joel Montalbano, manger, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
  • SpaceX Representative

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