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Author Topic:   SpaceX's Crew Dragon Crew-1 mission
MSS
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posted 07-16-2020 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA photo release
Falcon 9 Rocket Arrives for NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Mission

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission for the agency's Commercial Crew Program has arrived in Florida. NASA and SpaceX are preparing for the company's first operational flight of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket after certification, carrying NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the International Space Station for a full duration mission.

The mission will be the second time SpaceX's Crew Dragon will ferry astronauts to the space station, but the first in a series of regular, rotational missions.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon for Crew-1 will launch atop the Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The rocket was shipped from the SpaceX facility in McGregor, Texas, and will now undergo prelaunch processing in the company's facility on nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA, SpaceX Targeting October for Next Astronaut Launch

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Oct. 23 for the first operational flight with astronauts of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as a part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission will be the first of regular rotational missions to the space station following completion of NASA certification.

The mission will carry Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker, all of NASA, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi for a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory following launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Crew-1 will launch in late October to accommodate spacecraft traffic for the upcoming Soyuz crew rotation and best meet the needs of the International Space Station. Launch will follow the arrival of NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos aboard their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft and the departure of NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner from the space station. The launch timeframe also allows for a crew handover with NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission next spring.

The Crew-1 mission is pending completion of data reviews and certification following NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, which successfully launched NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the International Space Station on May 30 and returned them safely home with a splashdown off the Florida coast in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 2. Demo-2 was the first crewed flight test of a commercially-owned and operated human space system.

NASA certification of SpaceX's crew transportation system allows the agency to regularly fly astronauts to the space station, ending sole reliance on Russia for space station access.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA and SpaceX Update Target Launch Date for the Crew-1 Mission to Station

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 2:40 a.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 31, for the launch of the agency's SpaceX Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station.

The new target date will deconflict the Crew-1 launch and arrival from upcoming Soyuz launch and landing operations. This additional time is needed to ensure closure of all open work, both on the ground and aboard the station, ahead of the Crew-1 arrival. The increased spacing also will provide a good window of opportunity to conduct additional testing to isolate the station atmosphere leak if required. SpaceX continues to make progress on preparations of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket, and the adjusted date allows the teams additional time for completing open work ahead of launch.

Astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be carried to the station on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will be the first time an international crew will fly aboard a NASA-certified, commercially-owned and operated American rocket and spacecraft from American soil.

Following the launch, the Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to arrive at the space station for a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory.

NASA is in the final stages of the data reviews needed ahead of certification following the agency's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight.

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts name Dragon capsule 'Resilience'

The next astronauts who will launch on a SpaceX capsule to the International Space Station looked to the present, rather than the past or the future, to select the name for their spacecraft.

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, commander of SpaceX's Crew-1 mission to the space station, joined his three crewmates in revealing their ship's call sign during a NASA press briefing held on Tuesday (Sept. 29).

"We're excited about the opportunity to name our vehicle," Hopkins said, speaking on behalf of he fellow Crew-1 astronauts, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. "The Crew-1 Dragon capsule, no. 207, will henceforth be known by the call sign 'Resilience.'"

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA, SpaceX Crew-1 Launch Update

Launch of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station is now targeted for no sooner than early-to-mid November, providing additional time for SpaceX to complete hardware testing and data reviews as the company evaluates off-nominal behavior of Falcon 9 first stage engine gas generators observed during a recent non-NASA mission launch attempt. Through the agency's Commercial Crew and Launch Services Programs partnership with SpaceX, NASA has full insight into the company's launch and testing data.

"We have a strong working relationship with our SpaceX partner," said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. "With the high cadence of missions SpaceX performs, it really gives us incredible insight into this commercial system and helps us make informed decisions about the status of our missions. The teams are actively working this finding on the engines, and we should be a lot smarter within the coming week."

Above: The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft that will carry four astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, was secured to its unpressurized trunk on Friday, Oct. 2, at the company's processing facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-26-2020 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA, SpaceX target new Crew-1 launch date

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 7:49 p.m. EST Saturday, Nov. 14, for the launch of the first crew rotation mission to the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission will launch the agency's astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.

Crew-1 astronauts will join the Expedition 64 crew of Commander Sergey Ryzhikov, and Flight Engineers Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. The arrival of Crew-1 will increase the regular crew size of the space station's expedition missions from six to seven astronauts, adding to the amount of crew time available for research.

Robert Pearlman
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NASA release
NASA and SpaceX Complete Certification of First Human-Rated Commercial Space System

Years of design, development, and testing have culminated in NASA officially certifying the first commercial spacecraft system in history capable of transporting humans to and from the International Space Station as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. NASA completed the signing of the Human Rating Certification Plan Tuesday for SpaceX's crew transportation system after a thorough Flight Readiness Review ahead the agency's SpaceX Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the space station.

"I'm extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "This certification milestone is an incredible achievement from NASA and SpaceX that highlights the progress we can make working together with commercial industry."

The Crew Dragon, including the Falcon 9 rocket and associated ground systems, is the first new, crew spacecraft to be NASA-certified for regular flights with astronauts since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago. Several critical events paved the way for this achievement, including grounds tests, simulations, uncrewed flight tests and NASA's SpaceX Demo-2 test flight with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley earlier this year.

"Today's signing is about the people across NASA, SpaceX and other groups that came together to complete an unbelievable amount of hard work to accomplish this task," said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operation Mission Directorate. "Certification moves us from the design and test phase into the crew rotation phase of our work, but we will not stop making sure every flight, including NASA's Space Crew-1 mission, will be approached with the same rigor we have put into making this the best system it can be for our astronauts."

The launch of the Demo-2 mission on May 30, 2020, marked the first time astronauts flew aboard the American rocket and spacecraft from the U.S. to the space station, and extensive analysis of the test flight data followed the safe return of Behnken and Hurley on Aug. 2.

Prior to Demo-2, NASA and SpaceX completed several demonstration flights to prove the system was ready to fly astronauts. In 2015, teams completed a Crew Dragon pad abort test during which the spacecraft demonstrated the ability to escape the launch pad in the event of an emergency prior to liftoff.

In March 2019, NASA and SpaceX took another major step toward restoring America's human spaceflight capability when Crew Dragon returned safely to Earth after spending five days docked to the space station for NASA's SpaceX Demo-1 mission. The test flight was the first launch, docking and return of the commercially built and operated American spacecraft.

In January 2020, NASA and SpaceX completed a launch escape demonstration of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. During the test, SpaceX configured Crew Dragon to intentionally trigger a launch escape prior to 1 minute and 30 seconds into flight to demonstrate Crew Dragon's capability to safely carry the astronauts to safety in the unlikely event of an in-flight emergency.

"Thank you to NASA for their continued support of SpaceX and partnership in achieving this goal," said SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk. "I could not be more proud of everyone at SpaceX and all of our suppliers who worked incredibly hard to develop, test, and fly the first commercial human spaceflight system in history to be certified by NASA. This is a great honor that inspires confidence in our endeavor to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and ultimately help humanity become multi-planetary."

Dozens of tests of the spacecraft's parachute system were successfully completed, which began in 2016 and wrapped up this year. Several key events have occurred since 2018, including the completion of electromagnetic interference chamber testing on Crew Dragon at the SpaceX factory in Hawthorne, California, and acoustic chamber testing on the spacecraft at the NASA's Plum Brook Station test facility at Glenn Research Center in Ohio. Hundreds of tests have been performed on the spacecraft's eight SuperDraco abort engines, which would provide astronauts an escape from the rocket in the unlikely event of an emergency at liftoff.

NASA and SpaceX also coordinated with the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct crew rescue training. The DoD Human Space Flight Support Office Rescue Division is prepared to deploy at a moment's notice to quickly and safely rescue astronauts in the unlikely event of an emergency during ascent or splashdown.

"NASA's partnership with American private industry is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science and more commercial opportunities," said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA. "We are truly in the beginning of a new era of human spaceflight."

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission will be the first flight to use the certified SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and will fly NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, on a six-month mission to and from the space station. Crew Dragon is targeting launch on a Falcon 9 on Saturday, Nov. 14, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

Robert Pearlman
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From SpaceX, via Twitter (photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky):
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST for launch of Crew Dragon's first operational mission to the International Space Station with four astronauts on board. Teams will continue monitoring weather conditions for liftoff and along the flight path.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-13-2020 06:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Launch readiness review complete

Teams on Friday (Nov. 13) completed the final major review for the SpaceX Crew-1 mission.

NASA and SpaceX agreed to re-target the launch for Sunday (Nov. 15) at 7:27 p.m. EST (0027 GMT Nov. 16), a day later than originally planned due to onshore winds and first stage booster recovery readiness. The Dragon will dock to the space station Monday (Nov. 16) at about 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT Nov. 17).

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts to set firsts on NASA operational mission

The astronauts set to launch on SpaceX's first operational crewed mission for NASA are poised to make history — both as a crew of four and as individuals.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, together with Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), will lift off aboard a SpaceX Dragon capsule named "Resilience" for a six-month stay on the International Space Station.

Robert Pearlman
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Astronauts depart for launchpad

Crew-1 astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi have exited their crew quarters at the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building and departed for Launch Complex 39A.

The astronauts' ride to the pad are two customized Tesla Model X outfitted with cooling air for their pressure suits. Their vehicles, which have the license plate "L8RERTH" ("Later Earth"), are traveling as part of a convoy including support team members and security personnel. Hopkins and Walker are riding together in one car, with Glover and Noguchi in the other.

The countdown continues for today's (Nov. 15) scheduled 7:27 p.m. EDT (0027 GMT Nov. 16) launch. Weather is a concern with the chance of favorable conditions at 50 percent.

Robert Pearlman
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Crew members climb aboard Resilience

Crew-1 astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi arrived at Launch Complex 39A and took the elevator up to the 255-foot level of the fixed service structure. They then took a short flight of stairs to the crew access level, where they crossed the crew access arm – the walkway from the fixed service structure over to the White Room and their waiting SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, "Resilience."

Mission commander Hopkins entered the Dragon first and positioned in Seat 2, followed shortly after by mission specialist Walker in Seat 4. Noguchi, also a mission specialist, then ingressed and was seated to Hopkins' left in Seat 1, followed by pilot Glover between Walker and Hopkins in Seat 2.

As the astronauts boarded, their seats were configured in the upright position; later, prior to closure of the spacecraft's side hatch, the seats will be rotated into a reclined position for flight.

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Resilience hatch closed for launch

The hatch through which the SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts entered their Dragon spacecraft has been closed and a leak check is complete.

An initial attempt at closing the hatch resulted in a minor pressure drop inside the capsule. Technicians reopened the Dragon and inspected the seals. Finding and removing a small piece of foreign object debris (FOD), the hatch was closed again and a second leak check verified that the spacecraft was holding pressure.

Launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Resilience carrying Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi remains on track for 7:27 p.m. EDT (0027 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center's Pad 39A.

Robert Pearlman
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Loading of Falcon 9 propellant begins

Valves are open and propellants are beginning to flow into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

SpaceX's launch director verified the launch team was "go" to begin loading the Falcon 9 rocket's propellants – liquid oxygen and a refined, rocket-grade kerosene called RP-1 – into the rocket's first and second stages.

The crew access arm that provided a walkway for the Crew-1 astronauts earlier has been retracted from the rocket.

The Dragon's launch escape system (LES), consisting of a set of eight SuperDraco engines integrated into the spacecraft's body, has been armed in preparation for launch. The LES is designed to separate the capsule from the Falcon 9 rocket and carry the crew away to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency.

The weather forecast has improved from a 50 percent to 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions for a launch at 7:27 p.m. EST (0027 GMT).

Robert Pearlman
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SpaceX Crew-1 launches on 'Resilience' to begin operational missions for NASA

Four astronauts lifted off on board a SpaceX rocket to the International Space Station, marking the start of the first "operational" commercial crewed orbital spaceflight from the United States.

Crew-1 mission commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialist Shannon Walker, all with NASA, together with mission specialist Soichi Noguchi of JAXA (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), launched on the SpaceX Dragon "Resilience" on Sunday (Nov. 15).

Robert Pearlman
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Resilience docks to space station

The SpaceX Dragon "Resilience" docked to the International Space Station on Monday (Nov. 16), becoming the 100th crewed vehicle to arrive at the orbital complex.

The capsule, carrying Crew-1 astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, attached to the forward-facing port of the space station's Harmony node at 11:01 p.m. EST (0401 GMT Nov. 17). The autonomous docking marked the end of a 27.5-hour rendezvous.

"SpaceX, this is Resilience, excellent job right down the center," said Hopkins. "SpaceX and NASA, congratulations! This is a new era of operational flights to the International Space Station from the Florida coast."

"And ISS, Sergey, Sergey and Kate, we'll see you real soon," he said.

Beginning its approach to the space station from below at 9:23 p.m. EST (0223 GMT), the Resilience guided itself to waypoints at 720 feet (220 meters) and 66 feet (20 m) directly in front of the station before proceeding in to dock.

The astronauts opened the hatches and entered the space station at 1:02 a.m. EST (0602 GMT) on Tuesday (Nov. 17) to join Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineers Kate Rubins and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov.

All times are CT (US)

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