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By Samantha Masunaga

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are headed back to Earth after a two-month mission at the International Space Station, marking the first time a privately owned craft will return astronauts from the space station to Earth.

The crew departed the space station Saturday afternoon aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, the same craft that brought them to space in that vessel’s first crewed flight.

After leak checks, the astronauts lowered the visors of their helmets, and a command to undock was sent to the spacecraft at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Two sets of hooks were disconnected, and then the capsule started to float slowly away from the space station around 7:35. Several engine thrusters fired to further separate the spacecraft from the space station.

By 7:40, all that could be seen of the capsule from the space station view were two dots of light.

“It’s been an honor and a privilege,” Hurley said on the communications system as the capsule drifted away from the space station. “It’s been a great two months, and we appreciate all you’ve done as a crew to prove out Dragon on its maiden flight.”

The last major test for the capsule will come Sunday, when it is set to splash down at 2:41 p.m. Eastern time in the Gulf of Mexico, near Pensacola, Fla.

There were seven possible landing sites along the Florida coast; three in the Atlantic Ocean are in the path of Tropical Storm Isaias.

The splashdown will mark the first time in 45 years that astronauts have returned to space via an ocean landing.

The last such landing came in July 1975, when an Apollo capsule splashed down in the Pacific Ocean during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Program mission.

Since then, spacecraft have made landings on terra firma _ NASA’s space shuttle landed on a runway, and the Russian Soyuz capsule lands in Kazakhstan.

A successful Sunday splashdown would cap off a test mission that has so far gone well for Hawthorne, Calif.,-based SpaceX.

The Elon Musk-led company developed its Crew Dragon capsule under a NASA contract with the intent of one day ferrying NASA astronauts regularly to the space station. Aerospace stalwart Boeing Co. is also developing its own Starliner capsule under a NASA contract for this purpose.

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Hilary Duff says she 'stays lean' through 'flexible dieting,' tracking macros while still having bread, chocolate, and wine

Next News:

Jerry Falwell Jr. apologized to ‘everybody’ for bizarre yacht photo — and says mystery women is his wife’s assistant

Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. says he has apologized to “everybody” after posting – then deleting – a disturbing photo showing him on a yacht with his arm around a woman he now says is his wife’s assistant, and in a state of undress that one of his students says would lead to a fine or expulsion.

NCRM found no public apology.

Falwell, Jr. called in to Virginia radio station WLNI on Wednesday, and was asked about the image.

wut is happening pic.twitter.com/8iEOr9EeRQ

— Robert Downen (@RobDownenChron) August 3, 2020

“You know it was weird, cause she was, she’s pregnant, she couldn’t get her pants up, and I was, trying to like – my, I had on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a long time so I couldn’t get mine zipped either,” the president of one of the world’s largest Christian universities says on-air.

“And so I just put my belly – I just put my belly out like hers, and it was just, um, she’s my wife’s assistant and she’s a sweetheart. I should never have put it up and embarrassed her because, um, anyway, I’ve apologized to everybody and I promised my kids, I’m gonna try to be a good boy from here on out.”

At the end of the very short segment he mumbles something about it being a “costume party” and “just in good fun.”

The audio can be heard below or here.

watchkeep · Jerry Falwell Jr. “just in good fun”

On social media some are questioning if he was intoxicated.

Also, is it just me or does Jerry Falwell Jr. sound drunk in this interview? https://t.co/BHy36LcEVc

— Christian Nightmares (@ChristnNitemare) August 5, 2020

Jerry Falwell, Jr. inadvertently explains why he posed for an Instagram photo with his pants unzipped (with a young woman not his wife) by calling into a radio station drunk. https://t.co/DNHj680lw7

— Mrs. Betty Bowers (@BettyBowers) August 5, 2020

A drunk Jerry Falwell calls into radio show to explain why he and his wife’s asst were photographed with their pants undone.#CantMakeThisUphttps://t.co/2p0PLpWdBp

— Namaste The Fuck Away From Me (@CosmosNobel) August 5, 2020

Falwell calling into a radio station day drunk hammered. https://t.co/tigkalAxRd

— Ellie (@LithiumCupcakes) August 5, 2020

Drunk Falwell Jr: BUT HER EMAILSHSSS! https://t.co/FIvCv6wrS8

— Britton Turner (@BrittonT2) August 5, 2020

Hat tip: Christian Nightmares

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