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SpaceX Crew Dragon astronauts undock for historic Sunday splashdown

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Read full article here: https://readnews.io/2c5uop
Astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken bade their space station crewmates farewell, boarded their Crew Dragon ferry ship "Endeavour" and undocked from the International Space Station Saturday evening, setting up a historic Gulf of Mexico splashdown Sunday afternoon. "Its been a great two months, and we appreciate all youve done as a crew to help us prove out Dragon on its maiden flight," Hurley radioed station commander Chris Cassidy as the SpaceX capsule departed. "We look forward to splashdown tomorrow. ""Its been a real pleasure," Cassidy replied, "its been an honor to serve with you. Safe travels and have a successful landing. Endeavours a great ship. Godspeed. "It will be the first splashdown for U. S. astronauts in 45 years and the first entry, descent and landing of a piloted Crew Dragon spacecraft, one of the final steps before NASA can certify the SpaceX ferry ships for operational six-month flights to the space station. "The hardest part was getting us launched. But the most important part is bringing us home," Behnken said during a departure ceremony earlier Saturday. "I look forward to the test objectives of not only separating from the International Space Station smoothly, but then coming down to a nice splashdown off the Florida coast to come full circle with bringing that capability to launch astronauts again to the United States. "With tropical cyclone Isaias threatening Floridas East Coast, ruling out a splashdown off the coast from Jacksonville to Cape Canaveral, NASA and SpaceX managers cleared the crew for an on-time undocking Saturday and splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, Sunday afternoon. With favorable weather also expected at a backup landing site near Panama City, Hurley and Behnken undocked from the space stations forward port at 7:35 p. m., leaving Cassidy and crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner behind. Pulling smoothly away from the space station, Hurley and Behnken planned to

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