The two US astronauts who reached the International Space Station on board the first crewed US spacecraft in nearly a decade will leave for Earth on August 1, NASA ’s chief said Friday .
“Splashdown is targeted for Aug . 2 . Weather will drive the actual date . Stay tuned ,” tweeted the US space agency ’s administrator Jim Bridenstine .
Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley took off from Florida aboard SpaceX ’s Crew Dragon capsule on May 30 , becoming the first astronauts to hitch a ride to the ISS on board a commercial spaceship, which is under contract with NASA .
It was the first time a crewed spaceship was launched from the United States since 2011 when the space shuttle program was ended .
Between then and this mission , American astronauts traveled exclusively on Russian rockets .
Eventually , Dragon will regularly bring four astronauts to the ISS at a time , from NASA and partner space agencies in Canada , Japan, Europe and potentially Russia.
This will be the first time the SpaceX capsule will make the journey to Earth with astronauts, having successfully completed an uncrewed test run last year .
It will splash down in the Atlantic, like the Apollo capsules did in the 1960s and 1970s.