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New York (CNN Business)SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft — carrying NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley — is slowly maneuvering closer to Earth and preparing for a splashdown later today in the Gulf of Mexico.

The spacecraft is expected to touch down off the coast of Pensacola, Florida, on Sunday at 2:48 pm ET.
Behnken and Hurley's safe homecoming will mark the end to an historic two-month mission and pave the way for the US to once again become a world leader in human spaceflight.The astronauts have been aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Dragon Endeavour, since Saturday evening when it undocked from the International Space Station.
    Behnken and Hurley began their historic two-month trip to the ISS in May, when the astronauts launched inside their Crew Dragon spacecraft from a ground pad in Florida. It was the first NASA astronaut launch from US soil since 2011 and the first time in history that a commercially developed spacecraft carried humans into orbit.Overnight, the vehicle conducted a series of engine burns to lower the vehicle's altitude, preparing to take a dramatic plunge back into the Earth's thick atmosphere later today.Read MoreFlorida feels first rain and winds of Tropical Storm IsaiasAdding to the drama is Tropical Storm Isaias, which is barreling toward Florida's east coast and threatening violent winds capable of damaging roofs and buildings.NASA and SpaceX predetermined seven potential splashdown sites for this mission, four of which are to the west of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico: Pensacola, Tampa, Tallahassee and Panama City. And in that area, the wind and wave heights appear calm enough for the Crew Dragon to land safely.Still, weather officials are keeping a close eye on the forecast, and they could call off the splashdown all the way up until the spacecraft begins reentering the Earth's atmosphere.Behnken and Hurley — both married to fellow NASA astronauts —have young families waiting at home for them. Their sons dispatched a wake-up message for the astronauts this morning."Rise and shine daddy, we love you! We can't wait to see you — wake up, wake up! ...Don't worry, you can sleep in tomorrow. Hurry home so we can go get my dog," one of the children said.

    Astronauts Bob and Doug are preparing for splashdown after catching some sleep on board their SpaceX Crew Dragon.
    Their sons gave them their wake up message: pic.twitter.com/0kijXIXECm

    — Jackie Wattles (@jackiewattles) August 2, 2020
      The astronauts responded to mission control: "Hopefully the pressure's all on whoever is making the weather call, because those boys seem excited to bring us home.A safe homecoming is crucial. Though SpaceX previously launched a Crew Dragon on an uncrewed demonstration mission, Hurley and Behnken's mission is still considered a test. Both men are veteran NASA astronauts and test pilots specifically trained to respond to any technical issues that may arise on the new vehicle, and NASA won't officially certify Crew Dragon as a human-rated spacecraft until it makes a safe return.

      News Source: CNN

      Tags: the astronauts behnken and crew dragon

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      Turkey Considering Suspending Ties With United Arab Emirates Following Historic Peace Deal

      Turkey is considering suspending ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the country reached a historic peace deal with Israel on Thursday.

      Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that Turkey may cut diplomatic ties with the UAE and withdraw its ambassador over its plans to work with Israel, Reuters reported.

      “Neither history nor the collective conscience of the region will ever forget and forgive the hypocritical behavior of the UAE, which is trying to depict the deal as a sacrifice for Palestine, when in reality it is a betrayal to the Palestinian cause for its own narrow interests,” the Turkish Ministry said in a statement on Friday. according to Aljazeera.

      The statement also accused the UAE of “pursuing secret ambitions over a US plan that is stillborn, null and void, and ignores the willpower of Palestine.”

      Turkey said the deal is a slap in the face to the Palestinian cause, suggesting the UAE are trying to abolish the 2002 Arab Peace Plan, which called for a normalization of relations between Israel and other Arab nations in exchange for Israel withdrawing from all occupied Palestinian Territories, according to Aljazeera.

      “With that being the case, there is no credibility in presenting the trilateral declaration [between the US, UAE, and Israel] as a support to the Palestinian cause.”

      Erdogan said he is considering recalling Turkey’s UAE ambassador, according to NBC4 Washington.

      Iran’s Foreign Ministry also expressed disgust with the agreement, calling it a “dagger that was unjustly struck by the UAE in the backs of the Palestinian people and all Muslims,” NBC4 Washington reported.

      The historic peace deal was brokered by Trump and says that Israel and the UAE will cooperate on coronavirus vaccine research and begin negotiations for investment, tourism and trade between the two nations. It also stipulates reciprocal embassies.  (RELATED: Kushner: ‘Very Good Chance’ More Israel Peace Deals Will Be Announced Before Election)

      Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates pic.twitter.com/oVyjLxf0jd

      — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2020


      Israel will also suspend annexation over the West Bank,  specifically Judea and Samaria, according to The Jerusalem Post. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’s not giving up on Israeli sovereignty in those areas for good.

      “It’s on the table because of me. Trump put sovereignty into his peace plan because I asked for it, but in the first place I said again and again that we would only implement sovereignty in coordination with the US,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

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