Bad weather delays SpaceX Dragon's departure from space station to Saturday

A robotic SpaceX Dragon cargo ship approaches the International Space Station on June 5, 2021.
A robotic SpaceX Dragon cargo ship approaches the International Space Station on June 5, 2021. (Image credit: NASA)

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 or directly on NASA TV beginning at 10:40 a.m. EST (1540 GMT) on Saturday.

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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.

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.