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NASA astronauts riding SpaceX capsule poised for weekend return, weather permitting

The two NASA astronauts who rode to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's new Crew Dragon are heading home for a Sunday, August 2 splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, capping a two-month voyage in space that marked NASA's first crewed mission from home soil in nine years.

Crew Dragon "Endeavor" decoupled from the orbital station at 7:35 p.m. ET carrying U.S. astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley ahead of a Sunday afternoon splashdown off the coast of Pensacola, Florida - the first procedure of its kind in a privately built space capsule. NASA and SpaceX - monitoring the crew's return from Houston, Texas and SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California - ruled out splashdown options in the Atlantic earlier this week due to Tropical Storm Isaias, a cyclone expected to churn alongside Florida's east coast as a hurricane in the coming days.
Upon a successful splashdown at 2:48 p.m. ET Sunday, the spacecraft will have completed its final key test to prove it can transport astronauts to and from space - a task SpaceX has accomplished dozens of times with its cargo-only capsule but never before with humans aboard.

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