America’s first crewed spaceship since the Space Shuttle era was set to splash down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday.
Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were carrying out final preparations in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule “Endeavour” which should land off the coast of Pensacola at 2:48 pm (1848 GMT).
A successful mission would demonstrate that the United States once again has the capacity to send its astronauts to space and bring them back.
The US has had to rely on Russia for this purpose since the last Space Shuttle flew in 2011.
NASA footage showed the recovery boat “GO Navigator,” making its way to the site of the first water landing for a US spaceship since the 1975 joint Apollo-Soyuz mission.
Tropical Storm Isaias, which had scuppered Endeavour’s original landing site in the Atlantic, was nearing Florida’s east coast Sunday morning, hundreds of miles away.
The mission is also a major win for Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which was founded in only 2002 but has leap-frogged its way past Boeing, its main competitor in the commercial space race.