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Discussion: crew dragon undocking tonight

in: biggins; biggins > 2020-07-31

Aug 1, 2020 6:36 PM # 
eddie:
Looks like they will proceed with undocking this evening at ~7:30 PM EDT (4:30 PM PDT), with a planned splashdown Sunday afternoon, Aug 2, at around 2:40 PM EDT in the Gulf of Mexico rather than the Atlantic due to the hurricane there. I believe this will be the first ever splashdown in the Gulf.

Live coverage of the undocking will start just after 5 PM EDT on the SpaceX and NASA TV channels.

Weather looks crummy here, but you may have a shot at seeing and photographing the ISS and crew dragon formation-flying just after the undocking. There's a good visible pass this evening for the NE US ~3 hrs after undocking. Boston and Moncton might also be able to see an earlier high pass in twilight, 1 hr after undocking.

Sky chart for Baltimore/D.C. pass, 10:15 PM EDT, 2.5 hrs after undocking.

Sky chart for Boston/NE pass, 8:35 PM EDT, high pass 1 hr after undocking, but sky bright.
Sky chart for Boston/NE pass, 10:15 PM EDT, low SW pass 2.5 hrs after undocking.

Sky chart for Moncton pass, 9:35 PM ADT, 1 hrs after undocking.

Sky chart for Truckee, 8:45 PM PDT, 4.5 hrs after undocking.
Sky chart for Truckee, 10:20 PM PDT, 5 hrs after undocking, low in SW.

Not sure whether the much fainter dragon will be leading or trailing the ISS, so look for it both before and after the ISS pass times shown here.
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Aug 1, 2020 7:06 PM # 
eddie:
Note the 10:15 PM EDT (NE US) and 10:20 PDT pass (Truckee) will be very close to the comet. Here's a marked finding chart for Baltimore/D.C. and Truckee. Will be similar for Boston/New England, but the pass is a few degrees farther away at those locations. Still quite close though:
Aug 2, 2020 12:26 AM # 
eddie:
Departure was on time. Dragon appears to be about 5-6 miles away from the ISS right now, so still very close. That first Boston/New England/Moncton pass is coming up in 15 mins.The two points of light will be very close together. I'm still not sure which is leading.

Ah, they've just said - Dragon is above ISS right now, and in a few seconds they'll perform a burn putting dragon "in front" of the station.
Aug 2, 2020 5:05 PM # 
eddie:
One orbit to go before splashdown. De-orbit burn expected just before 2 PM EDT. Nominal splashdown at 2:48 PM EDT. Weather in the Gulf is perfect, with <30cm wave height. Spacecraft in good order.

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