How to watch SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts return to Earth

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

After almost six months aboard the International Space Station (ISS), SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronauts will be returning to Earth aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on Wednesday, October 12. Read on for full details on how you can watch a livestream of the astronauts’ homecoming.

NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, together with ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, will undock from the orbital outpost early Wednesday evening ET before splashing down just over 25 hours later on Thursday.

The space agency said it’s keeping an eye on the weather conditions inside the seven targeted landing zones in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, with any poor forecasts likely to cause a delay in the crew’s departure from the space station.

If a delay does occur, an additional undocking opportunity is available the following day on Thursday, October 13.

How to watch

You can watch all of the coverage via the video player embedded at the top of this page, or by heading to NASA Live, which will carry the same feed.

NASA will begin its livestream at 10:05 a.m. ET on Wednesday, October 12, with Crew-4’s farewell remarks and a change of command ceremony aboard the space station.

Later in the day, the livestream will restart at 5 p.m. ET for coverage of the closure of the hatch separating the spacecraft from the ISS, which is set to take place at 5:20 p.m. ET.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to undock from the ISS at 7:05 p.m. ET. The spacecraft will be seen to move very slowly away from the space-based laboratory, though keep in mind that both the Crew Dragon and ISS are actually moving through space at more than 17,000 mph (27,360 kph), orbiting approximately 250 miles above Earth.

On Thursday, the Crew Dragon and Crew-4 astronauts will splashdown in a spot yet to be confirmed. A recovery crew will then head to the spacecraft by boat and check on the condition of the astronauts before transporting them back to land, bringing to an end a half-year space mission.

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