Discovery and Science Channel announced today it will capture the incredible live splashdown return of the NASA launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft after docking the past two months at the International Space Station (ISS). SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: SPLASHDOWN a multiplatform event, will air live on Sunday, August 2 at 22:30 hrs. on Discovery. Viewers can stream the HD version of the LIVE feed starting 23:00 hrs. on Discovery Plus.
This past May, Discovery and Science Channel worked with The Washington Post to document the first crewed mission from the United States since the end of the shuttle program in 2011. This successful NASA launch from Kennedy Space Center was a partnership between NASA and SpaceX, marking the first U.S. crewed mission to orbit on a privately built spacecraft. Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley traveled to the ISS in the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, propelled by the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Scott Lewers, Executive Vice President of Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Science, said, “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.”
This live event, capturing the first landing at sea for U.S. astronauts since 1975, is also made in partnership with The Washington Post and staff writer Christian Davenport, whose depth of experience allowed him to gain inside access to key players. Davenport is one of the country’s leading chroniclers of the space industry. His background and experience will add keen insight to the day’s event, as a co-host of the live broadcast. Davenport joined The Post in 2000 and was on a team that won a Peabody Award in 2010 for its work on veterans with traumatic brain injuries and has been on reporting teams that were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize three times. He is the author of two books, “The Space Barons: Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos” (2018) and “As You Were: To War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard” (2009). He has also served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a fellow at the Alicia Patterson Foundation.
“The Post has long covered this industry and continues to bring readers in-depth reporting on the new space endeavors with unparalleled access and compelling storytelling,” said Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, managing editor for The Washington Post. “We are excited to once again partner with Discovery to deliver coverage of this historic event and bring our journalism to a live TV audience.”
“We are honored to continue our partnership with Discovery and The Washington Post, to share this exhilarating new era in space exploration,” said Aaron Fishman, President of Unscripted at Storied Media Group. "The extraordinary cooperation we have received from NASA and SpaceX are reigniting enthusiasm in space among young and old audiences alike."
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 Discovery Plus’ 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. Jacobs has a long history with Discovery network live events, reporting live on-the-ground for EXPEDITION UNKNOWN: EGYPT LIVE as well as serving as the digital host during Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walk over the Grand Canyon in SKYWIRE LIVE and in Chicago for SKYSCRAPER LIVE. Jacobs was host for DISCOVERY LIVE: INTO THE BLUE HOLE, CHOPPER LIVE, GOLD RUSH LIVE and the live broadcast of the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction for Velocity (now MotorTrend). In addition, he is the regular host for TLC’s LONG LOST FAMILY and serves as host of the popular automotive makeover show OVERHAULIN’ on MotorTrend.
Emmy Award-winning journalist David Kerley will also return as part of the reporting team. Kerley reported on aviation, railroads, the automobile industry and space for all ABC News broadcast and digital properties, including World News Tonight, Good Morning America, Nightline, ABC News Radio and ABCNews.com. His work has been recognized with Peabody and Edward R. Murrow awards as well as the prestigious Joan Barone award from the Capitol Hill Radio and Television Correspondents Association.
In addition to watching the return on Discovery at 22:30 hrs, Viewers can stream the HD version of the LIVE feed starting 23:00 hrs on Discovery Plus.Fans can also create photos and videos of themselves in space wearing life-like SpaceX helmets using Discovery’s Space Filter on Facebook or Instagram. Follow Discovery on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter for the latest updates and join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #Splashdown.
SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: SPLASHDOWN is produced for Discovery Channel by Storied Media Group. Executive producers for Storied Media Group are Aaron Fishman, Todd Hoffman and Michael J. Miller.
For Discovery and Science Channel, Executive Producers are Gretchen Eisele, Scott Lewers and Caroline Perez. To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.