NASA will enter a new era with the launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon’s first operational launch, which included ast astronauts.

Six years later, the two succeed Test flights And a multi-billion dollar investment in American enterprise, ready for NASA Launch four astronauts The first government-certified flight of the commercially developed SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station this weekend.

Originally expected to take off on Saturday, the launch of the first phase of the Falcon 9 rocket will attempt to land on the SpaceX droneship late on Sunday due to high winds expected at the Kennedy Space Center and weather offshore. The company plans to reuse the booster for the next Crew Dragon flight.

Appropriately, a woman of three men Crew The name of their spaceship is “Resilience.”

Mission Commander Mike Hopkins said it means doing well in times of stress or avoiding adverse events. “I think we can all agree that 2020 is definitely going to be a challenging year – global epidemics, economic hardships, civil unrest, loneliness.

“And despite all that, SpaceX, NASA has kept the production line open and finished this amazing vehicle that is getting ready to go on its first flight to the International Space Station.”

How to watch SpaceX crew dragon launch

  • What: NASA launches 4 astronauts aboard SpaceX crew dragon on International Space Station mission
  • Date: Sunday, November 15, 2020
  • Time: EST Live coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. Launch EST Target at 7:27 p.m.
  • Location: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
  • Stream Online Stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device.

Joining Hopkins will be former F / A-18 carrier pilot Victor Glover, research astronaut Shannon Waker and Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi.

It will be the second flight for both Hopkins and Walker, who had previously boarded the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and the third was for P te, Noguchi, of both the Soyuz and the space shuttle. Glover, the first African-American astronaut to join a long-term space station crew, is building his first space flight.

Left to right: NASA astronauts Shannon Waker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Kennedy arrived at the Kennedy Space Station to prepare for the launch on the SpaceX Crew Dragon at the Sochi Noguchi International Space Station.

NASA / Joel Cosky

If all goes well, Crew Dragon will execute an automated randways with the International Space Station to begin a six-month voyage for docking at the lab’s front port around 11 a.m. Monday.

The Kennedy Space Center is closed to normal business due to coronavirus protocols and astronauts have been in severe contact for the past several weeks to make sure the space station carries no viruses.

Against his background, Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, tweeted overnight that he had been “tested four times for Covid today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive.” He later added that he had experienced “mild odors and coughs and a slight fever for the past few days. Right now, there are no symptoms.”

Bridenstein told the Washington Post that contact tracing showed that Musk had not been in contact with anyone who had access to the crew-1 astronauts and did not expect any impact on the launch.

NASA administrators did not attempt to warn the potentially large crowd of people gathering on Florida’s “Space Coast” to witness the weekend. But Kathy Luders, director of NASA’s Space Exploration Directorate, urged people to be careful. Wear a mask And social distance wherever they meet.

“We expect a big turnout,” he said. “We know people celebrate with us (but) we want people to be careful when they come out. We would be really sad if this were a super-spreading event.”

Putting Covid aside, NASA and SpaceX administrators reviewed launch readiness on Friday to evaluate the performance of the weather and nine first-stage engines of the Falcon 9 rocket during a test firing on Wednesday. The engines received a clean bill of health and forecasters predicted a 60% probability of acceptable weather at the launch site on Sunday.

Crew-1 astronauts in spaceX simulator (left to right): Shannon Waker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Sochi Noguchi.


Mission managers will force the crew to make an emergency dispersal in the Atlantic Ocean along the north-east route of the crew dragon, to make sure there are defects in the wind and sea states.

The first phase recovery of the Falcon 9 requires a relatively calm sea, which the company plans to reuse for a crew dragon flight six months from now. The company’s plane, called “Just Read Instructions,” went into the sea on Thursday, heading to the landing area several hundred miles east of Cape Canaveral.

“Landing weather for the first phase is a big deal,” Luders said Thursday. “That’s the stage we’ll use for Crew-2, so we take care of it. It’s not that we don’t take care of them (all), but this is an important stage.”

NASA is calculating the crew-1 flight and follow-up mission by SpaceX and Boeing to go into NASA-Earth orbit and end the agency’s sole reliance on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. NASA has spent 4 4 billion on buying seats for the Soyuz spacecraft since 2006 and has spent 6 6 billion on its commercial crew program to date, finally signing contracts with SpaceX and Boeing.

To achieve “operational” status, the agency had to take the “human rate” of the SpaceX crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rockets, a complete process to be completed in two test flights, one unpilted and the other Carrying astronauts On the space station for Douglas Hurley and Robert Behankan 64-day stay Early this summer.

SpaceX SplashDown is a landmark


With two successful test flights behind them, NASA engineers were able to certify the spacecraft after detailed analysis of telemetry and observations of flight hardware. This was the first certification since the space shuttle was built in the 1970s and the first commercially developed spacecraft was approved.

“I believe 20 years from now, we will see this as a major turning point in our research and space use,” said Phil McCluster, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA headquarters. “It is no exaggeration to say that with this milestone, NASA and SpaceX have changed the historical arc of human space transport.

“NASA can only take our astronauts to and from the International Space Station with U.S. systems, but now, for the first time in history, there is a commercial capability to transport people safely into space safely from a private sector entity.”

Thanks to NASA’s numerous agreements to deliver cargo and astronauts to the space station, “all this is leading to large operational caddies,” said Benji Reed, director of SpaceX of Crew Mission Management. “And this is pretty cool.”

NASA managers chose to move forward with the Crew-1 flight after working to fix a handful of problems following this summer’s Demo-2 test flight. In one case, SpaceX has increased heat-shield insulation in places where more penetration-projection was seen than expected. In the second, the company improved a system used to trigger the release of stationary drug parachutes while reducing resources during a splash down.

Most recently, SpaceX had to solve a Guttle Falcon 9 engine problem that led to the launch of the Abort on October 2 in the U.S. Supported the Space Force Navigation Satellite. The turbopump machinery found from the GPS rocket had a problem with residue contamination. Crew-1’s Falcon 9 had similar problems.

Each booster had two engines replaced and a GPS satellite Started successfully November 5. The engines in the first phase of the Crew-1 Falcon 9 were fired on Wednesday in the SpaceX test and no problems were seen.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon will be rotated on the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center in anticipation of the Crew-1 mission, which will launch 4 astronauts on the International Space Station.

NASA / Joel Cosky

Standing to greet him will be Expedition 64 Commander Sergei Ryzikov, Sergei Kud-Sverkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. When she and her two crumate Rubin used NASA’s last currently contracted Soyuz seat Blast on 14 October From the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard the Soyuz MS-17 / 63S spacecraft.

With the arrival of the crew dragon, the station crew will be seven, five labs U.S. Will work and live in the segment while Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkov operate systems in the Russian territory.

“It’s been great to see the crew-1 crew go through that hatch, and we’ll definitely welcome them on board because with more crew members, we’ll be able to spend more time doing scientific research and experiments,” Rubins said. Launch.

“How much time do we have to devote to station maintenance, and with only one or two US and international partner crew members, it is difficult to complete the science we have to do. So having all these extra crew members there means that we We can do it more scientifically. “

The station’s life support systems, including its water recycling equipments and carbon dioxide removal gear, are designed to support the seven-member crew and additional stores and supplies are placed.

But the station’s U.S. There are only four crew “sleep stations” in the segment and Hopkins plans to fit the power-down crew into the dragon with a sleeping bag. The new crew compartment is expected to launch next year.

If all goes well, Hopkins, Glover, Waker Kar and Noguchi will spend 165 days on the space station, welcoming four cargo ships en route. Multiple spacewalks are planned to build an external experiment platform on the European Space Agency’s Columbus Science Module and to upgrade the station’s solar power system.

And during their stay, the crew will focus on a variety of experiments and research projects.

Demo 2-launch.jpg
The Crew-1 launching SpaceX Demo-2 will mirror the test flight, seen from the May 39 explosion at the Kennedy Space Center here on Pad 39.


The next Crew Dragon will be launched around March 30, with crew-2 astronauts Shane Kimbro, Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet. Three Russians – Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov and Sergei Korskov – will arrive. A Soyuz on April 10, briefly raising the station crew to 11.

Ryzykov, Kud-Sverkov and Rubins return to Earth a week later, on April 17, with a landing on the footsteps of Kazakhstan. Hopkins and his crew-1 comrades will follow scattered down the Atlantic Ocean northeast of Cape Canaveral or south of Pennsocola, depending on the weather around May 1.

Kimbro and his crew-2 comrades will be stationed at the station with Novitsky, Dubrov and Korsokov until the next Crew Dragon arrives in the fall.

“We’re considering seven crew members who are moving forward with our stable position,” said Kenny Todd, NASA’s space station integration manager. “You may have some periods where during some handover periods you will have a lot of vehicles and a large crew. But the fixed size of the state crew will be seven.”