This weekend NASA and SpaceX will conduct the second crewed flight launched from American soil since 2011. The mission, known as Crew-1, will be the first operational flight under the agency's Commercial Crew Program that plans to launch astronauts regularly from the United States --finally ending the ten year dependency on Russian spacecraft to transport crews to orbit.
On November 14, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will ride atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a voyage to the International Space Station (ISS). They will liftoff at around 7:49 p.m. Eastern Time from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
All Images Source: NASA
Earlier today, the four Crew-1 astronauts went through launch day operations during a 'countdown dress rehearsal' in which they practiced everything they will do on launch day. The astronauts were seen wearing their stylish white and black SpaceX-made spacesuits at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. They initiated the rehearsal from Astronaut Crew Quarters inside Kennedy’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building where teams helped each inside their suits. Then, Crew-1 astronauts took the elevator down the building and exited through a pair of double doors, where Tesla Model X cars with wing doors waited to transport them to Launch Pad 39A. The astronauts looked happy and waved as they rode two Tesla vehicles.
All Images Source: NASA
Once Crew-1 arrived to the launch pad, they climbed the launch pad tower towards the Crew Access Arm hallway that leads to the Crew Dragon spacecraft's entrance atop the 229-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket. "Crew Dragon Commander Hopkins, Pilot Glover, and Mission Specialists Walker and Noguchi entered the Crew Dragon by way of the pad’s Crew Access Arm and checked their communications systems before the hatch was closed," NASA shared in a press release, "The rehearsal concluded with the go/no-go poll for Falcon 9 propellant loading, which normally occurs 45 minutes before launch."
JAXA Astronaut Noguchi shared the crew completed the countdown dress rehearsal this afternoon. "SpaceX, NASA Crew1 just finished final dress rehearsal, getting ready for Saturday launch! Behind me is 'real' Dragon spacecraft," he wrote via Twitter.
#SpaceX #NASA #Crew1 just finished final dress rehearsal, getting ready for Saturday launch! Behind me is "real" #Dragon spacecraft. 打ち上げ前の最終ドレスリハーサル完了！#ドラゴン宇宙船 と接続するアクセスアームにて。 pic.twitter.com/U4E7qA7QrJ— NOGUCHI, Soichi 野口 聡－（のぐち そういち） (@Astro_Soichi) November 13, 2020
With launch day less than two days away, the United States Space Force 45th Weather Squadron is analyzing conditions. They issued a weather forecast for Saturday stating - "Eta, now a hurricane, will remain a stubborn forecasting challenge over the next few days as it moves north very near the west central Florida coast." There is currently a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch day, if weather delays the Crew-1 mission, NASA has back-up launch opportunities scheduled for Sunday and Monday. You can watch NASA operations about SpaceX's Crew-1 mission Live in the video below, starting November 13 (schedule is in Eastern Time).
WATCH IT LIVE!
CREW-1 MISSION SCHEDULE
Nov. 13, Friday
10 a.m. – NASA Administrator's Countdown Clock Briefing
TBD – SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Prelaunch News Conference at Kennedy (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review)
Nov. 14, Saturday
3:30 p.m. – Coverage of the launch of the SpaceX Crew-1 Mission on the “Resilience” Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi).
Launch scheduled at 7:49 p.m. EST; coverage will be continuous through docking and hatch opening on Sunday, Nov. 15 Kennedy Space Center/ Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center
9 p.m. – NASAs SpaceX Crew-1 Postlaunch News Conference (All Channels)
Nov. 15, Sunday
4:20 a.m. – Docking of the SpaceX “Resilience” Crew Dragon and the Crew-1 Mission to the International Space Station – Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center
7 a.m. – Welcoming Ceremony for the SpaceX “Resilience” Crew Dragon Crew-1 Crew at the International Space Station (Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi) - Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center
7:20 a.m. SpaceX Crew-1 Mission post-docking news conference with senior NASA and JAXA officials
Nov. 16, Monday
9:55 a.m.-10:25 a.m. – International Space Station Expedition 64 Crew News Conference (Kate Rubins, Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi)
About the Author
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.