A SpaceX resupply ship will have to wait at least one more day before returning to Earth.
Yesterday (Jan. 19), cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov ventured outside the safe confines of the International Space Station to conduct a seven-hour, 11-minute spacewalk. While the pair cleaned up following the spacewalk, SpaceX was preparing its robotic Dragon cargo ship to come back to Earth. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans.
The Dragon craft, which had previously been scheduled to come home on Friday (Jan. 21), is now planning to undock from the station Saturday (Jan. 22) due to a “forecast of inclement weather,” according to a NASA blog post.
You can watch the undocking live here at Space.com or directly on NASA TV beginning at 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT) on Saturday.
This morning (Jan. 20), NASA astronauts Kayla Barron and Thomas Marshburn prepared the Dragon for its return trip, loading biology samples into the craft so that they can be analyzed here on Earth. Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer also loaded freezers packed with additional scientific samples into the ship.
SpaceX will provide another update about undocking during a weather briefing at 12 p.m. EST (1700 GMT) on Friday. If the Dragon craft does undock Saturday as currently planned, it will splash down Sunday (Jan. 23) around 4 p.m. EST (2100 GMT), but the final splashdown site has not been selected yet, according to the blog post.