2. SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher J. Cassidy, Astronaut:
"It was roughly two months ago when we were right at this very hatch and greeted them aboard. And we we changed from a crew of three to a crew of five. And we executed two months of fantastic space station science and technical objectives with the spacewalks and robotics that we're very proud of. And we're very happy to have Doug and Bob be part of that. We're a little sad to see them go, but very excited for what it means to our International Space program to add this capability."
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Christopher J. Cassidy, Astronaut:
"I want to make mention of this very special flag. It has deep, deep space history, getting deeper, as this flag will return to Earth with the crew, dragon guys and spend a little bit of time on Earth and very soon make a trip to the moon. In short order. So, Doug, the flag is all yours. Been a pleasure. And here you go."
Two U.S. astronauts based on the International Space Station on Saturday gave their farewells as they planned to return to Earth.
SpaceX and NASA plan to bring Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken back Sunday afternoon in the company's Dragon capsule, aiming for the Gulf of Mexico just off the Florida Panhandle. Flight controllers are keeping close watch on Hurricane Isaias, expected to stick to Florida’s east coast.
The capsule has been docked at the space station since May 31, allowing Hurley and Behnken to chip in with spacewalks and experiments.
This will be SpaceX’s first splashdown with astronauts on board, ending a two-month test flight that began May 30 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center - the first launch of a crew from the U.S. in nearly a decade.
The two astronauts will be bringing with them a U.S. flag which is planned to be sent to the moon, and Tremor the Apatosaurus, a stuffed dinosaur which Hurley and Behnken's sons gave to them as a "zero-g indicator".