New Delhi | Jagran Trending Desk: The NASA astronauts are expected to return to Earth inside SpaceX’s new Crew Dragon capsule on August 2, 2020. It is the same Crew Dragon that launched the astronauts to space in May, marking the first time of a privately made spacecraft that has carried people to orbit.

As per NASA’s planning, the US-based astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley who are currently on the International Space Station will board the Crew Dragon on August 1 and will return to Earth, the next day. However, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said that weather will be a major factor in the returning date.

On July 21, Bob Behnken will gear up for his final spacewalk ahead of prepping with Doug Hurley to depart the space station, NASA said. Keeping in mind the safety of the duo, Mission planners on Earth will be keeping an eye on weather forecasts to calculate the precise time and location for the returning of the Spacecraft.

Ever since NASA had stopped the space shuttle program in 2011, the astronauts there have had to hitch rides into orbits by using Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

Another company, Boeing Co., which designs, manufactures, and sells aeroplanes, rotorcrafts, rockets, satellites, and others worldwide, is producing its own launch system in competition with SpaceX. It is expected to fly its CST-100 Starliner vehicle from the next year.  

NASA has awarded nearly $8 billion (roughly Rs. 60,555 crores) to SpaceX and Boeing combined for the development of the rival space launch systems.

Earlier in May, nearly after two decades of effort, Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched it’s first two people into orbit in May. It was the first time that astronauts have launched people into orbit from American soil. Making history, SpaceX is now the first company to send passengers to orbit on a privately made spacecraft.

Posted By: Talib Khan