EXCLUSIVE: What goes up must come down. Discovery and Science Channel will follow Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley as they become the first astronauts to land at sea since the Ford administration. Space Launch Live: Splashdown begins at 1 p.m. ET/10 PT this Sunday, August 2.
The arrival comes two months after the duo began the first U.S. crewed mission to orbit on a privately built spacecraft. They left Earth on May 30 en route to the International Space Station in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, propelled by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The two-month mission was in partnership with NASA.
Discovery and Science teamed to air the historic launch of NASA and Elon Musk’s SpaceX mission in May. Narrated by Walton Goggins, that two-hour live special drew record ratings for both cable outlets.
“This is the type of coverage that viewers can only find on Discovery and Science Channel,” said Scott Lewers, EVP Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content at Science Channel. “With the incredible access of The Washington Post, we spent over a year documenting SpaceX’s journey to become the first private company to launch American astronauts into space and we’re excited to see their safe return back to Earth. Our live coverage will take viewers inside their incredible journey home.”
Following the first landing at sea for U.S. astronauts since 1975, Space Launch Live: Splashdown is made in partnership with the Washington Post and its staff writer Christian Davenport, one of the country’s leading chroniclers of the space industry, who will co-host the special.
The spacecraft is scheduled to splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean and would successfully conclude NASA and SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission. Temperatures on the return can spike up to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit on the exterior of the spacecraft due to the friction caused during re-entry. Regarding the spaceship’s return, SpaceX Founder and Chief Engineer Elon Musk noted, “I think there’s an argument that the return is more dangerous in some ways than the ascent.”
Discovery and Science Channel’s live coverage will have unprecedented coverage of the spacecraft’s return as well as expert commentary from current and former astronauts including Mike Massimino and Garrett Reisman, top engineers and other special guests, including adventurer and avid explorer Josh Gates. TV personality Chris Jacobs will pick up where he left off as host of the live return, and Emmy-winning journalist David Kerley will also return as part of the reporting team.
Space Launch Live: Splashdown is produced by Storied Media Group, with its Aaron Fishman, Todd Hoffman and Michael J. Miller executive producing. Gretchen Eisele, Scott Lewers and Caroline Perez are the EPs for Discovery and Science Channel.
Watch the promo above.