Why does Hurricane Isaias affect the departure?
The storm complicates when and where splashdown can take place. At the splashdown site, winds must be less than 10 miles per hour for the capsule to land safely. There are additional constraints on waves, rain and lightning. In addition, helicopters that take part In the recovery of the capsule must be able to fly and land safely.
The first landing opportunity will aim for only the primary site, Pensacola. If weather there is the inconsistent with the rules, the capsule and the astronauts will remain In orbit for another day or two, and managers will consider the backup site, which is the Panama City.
What will happen after they leave the station?
After undocking on Saturday night, the spacecraft will perform a series of maneuvers, first firing the engines several times to move away from the space station and, a few hour hours later, to line up the spacecraft with the splashdown zone.
For most of the trip, Mr. Behnken and Mr. Hurley will be sleeping. Their schedule sets aside 10 hours of shut eye.
Any return journey that exceeds six hours has to be long enough for the crew to get some sleep between undocking and splashdown, Daniel Huot, a NASA spokesman, said In an email.