NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Commander will be commissioned into the U.S. Space Force

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Commander will be commissioned into the U.S. Space Force

Featured Image Source: SpaceX / NASA

SpaceX will soon perform its second crewed flight to the International Space Station (ISS), the mission is called Crew-1. An international crew of four astronauts are scheduled to liftoff atop a Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft at 7:49 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 14, from launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The astronauts who will ride Crew Dragon next month are three NASA astronauts - Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. It will be the first operational mission to the Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. The astronauts will stay working at the ISS laboratory for six months.


During the upcoming mission, NASA Astronaut Michael Hopkins will be SpaceX Crew-1 Commander responsible for the Crew Dragon spacecraft operations. Hopkins is a United States Air Force colonel and he will soon transfer to the new branch of the military, the U.S. Space Force. According to SpaceNews reporters, Hopkins will be commissioned into the U.S. Space Force during the Crew-1 mission upon arrival to the Space Station. "If all goes well, we’re looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station,” General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force told reporters. Senate approved his transfer in July. Hopkins will be the first astronaut to be part of the newly-established U.S. Space Force.

Colonel Catie Hague, a spokesperson for the Chief of Space Operations told SpaceNews that Raymond is working with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to plan Astronaut Hopkin's U.S. Space Force transfer ceremony --"as a way to spotlight the decades-long partnership between DoD [Department of Defense] and NASA," Hague said.

In September, Hopkins discussed the Crew-1 mission and said he is thankful to be commander for the flight. He shared the crew gave a special name to SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft that will ferry them to ISS. "We're excited about the opportunity to name our vehicle. The Crew-1 Dragon capsule, no. 207, will henceforth be known by the call sign 'Resilience'," he said during a press conference. Hopkins explained that the spacecraft's name was chosen to reflect all the challenges that the year 2020 has put forth to the world amid the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. --"If you look up the definition of the word 'resilience,' it means functioning well in times of stress or overcoming adverse events. I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year, [with] a global pandemic, economic hardships, social unrest [and] isolation," he said. "Despite all of that, SpaceX and NASA have kept the production line open and finished this amazing vehicle that is getting ready to go on its maiden flight to the International Space Station."


"So the name 'Resilience' is really in honor of the SpaceX and NASA teams, and, quite frankly, it is in honor of our families, our colleagues, our fellow citizens, our international partners and our leaders, who have shown that same quality, those same characteristics all through these difficult times," Hopkins said.


About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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