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History-making NASA-SpaceX astronauts returning from International Space Station

Splashdown on Earth is scheduled for Sunday at 2:42 p.m. ET.

8/1/2020 2:28:00 AM

Their return would mark the first time a commercially built American spacecraft returned from space. It's also NASA's first crewed water landing since 1975.

Splashdown on Earth is scheduled for Sunday at 2:42 p.m. ET.

history-making launch, the first NASA-SpaceX astronauts finally have a return flight scheduled.Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who left Earth on May 30, are slated to undock from the International Space Station at 7:34 p.m. ET on Saturday and splash down off the coast of Florida at 2:42 p.m. ET on Sunday. Their journey will be broadcast live by NASA.

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ABC News' transportation correspondent Gio Benitez caught up with NASA veterans Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from the International Space Station on June 8, 2020.ABC News' transportation correspondent Gio Benitez caught up with NASA veterans Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from the International Space Station on June 8, 2020.

NASATheir return would mark the first time a commercially built American spacecraft returned from space. It's also NASA's first crewed water landing since 1975.Stakes are high as once the Crew Dragon spacecraft undocks from the ISS, the astronauts will only have 48 hours of oxygen in their capsule.

MORE: Meet Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, the history-making NASA and SpaceX astronautsWeather remains a top concern as Tropical Storm Isaias moves through the area, but the astronauts expressed confidence about the splashdown during a news conference from the ISS on Friday.

"I still don't feel nervous about it -- we're focused on the things we need to do to be as safe as possible," Behnken said."We won't leave the Space Station without good landing opportunities in front of us. We don't control the

weather, we know we can stay up here longer, there's more chow."Hurley said every spaceflight is a"once-in-a-lifetime experience" for astronauts, but"this one probably is a great topper, at least for me, personally.""The water-landing portion of it is pretty challenging from a physiological standpoint," he noted, especially after being in a microgravity environment for months. He said they have exercised"very hard" to help prepare.

In addition, Hurley said if they get physically ill during their return they will have the"appropriate hardware.""Just like an airliner, there are bags if you need them, and we'll have those ready," he added."If that needs to happen, it certainly wouldn't be the first time it's happened in a space vehicle."

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NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken greet their families before the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 27, 2020.NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken greet their families before the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., May 27, 2020.

Joe Skipper/ReutersSplashdown expectationsThere are seven possible splashdown sites near coastal cities -- Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee, Panama City, Cape Canaveral, Daytona, and Jacksonville -- and NASA said it will make a final selection based on several factors, primarily weather. As of Friday, near Panama City was considered the primary site, with Tampa the backup.

Once the spacecraft enters Earth's atmosphere, it will deploy two sets of parachutes at about 18,000 feet in altitude and then four more at about 6,000 feet in altitude, according to NASA.After the splashdown, SpaceX will send two boats to first check the capsule and make sure the area around it is free of hypergolic propellant vapors. The second boat will recover the parachutes.

MORE: Dragon soars in successful NASA-SpaceX launchThe first boat then will hoist the capsule with Hurley and Behnken in it and move it to a stable location for the hatch to be opened as medical professionals look on. After a medical check, Behnken and Hurley will board a NASA plane to Houston.

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley participate in a test of critical crew flight hardware on March 30, 2020, at a SpacerX processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley participate in a test of critical crew flight hardware on March 30, 2020, at a SpacerX processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX/NASABehnken said Friday he is most excited to see his family and his 6-year-old son upon returning to Earth, saying,"He's changed a lot in the couple of months that we've been up here."Behnken added that he already has some tips for his wife, fellow astronaut Megan McArthur, who will be on a NASA-SpaceX mission scheduled to launch next spring.

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GioBenitez GioBenitez Check with ABC News they like to think that they control everything!! GioBenitez GioBenitez I wouldn't wanna come back til 2021 new POTUS.. JusT sayuN.. GioBenitez Safe journeys to both. Welcome home. GioBenitez Good luck bob and doug! It seems like forever ago that I watched you guys blast off. So lucky, you guys get to leave this crazy place of an earth.

GioBenitez GioBenitez GioBenitez Trust me. Stay up there, fellas. Are they sure they want to come back

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SpaceX set to bring NASA astronauts home from historic mission (weather permitting)NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the first-ever astronauts to travel into orbit aboard a commercially developed spacecraft, are aiming to return to Earth this weekend — if an incoming hurricane doesn't delay those plans.

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