NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronauts are on their way to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft. The Crew-1 mission is the first operational mission under the agency's Commercial Crew Program that aims to launch astronauts regularly from American soil. “NASA is delivering on its commitment to the American people and our international partners to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective missions to the International Space Station using American private industry,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. “This is an important mission for NASA, SpaceX and our partners at JAXA, and we look forward to watching this crew arrive at station to carry on our partnership for all of humanity.”
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Crew Dragon spacecraft to orbit on Sunday at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft is carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. --"I could not be more proud of the work we've done here today,” the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell said after the company's second successful astronaut launch. “Falcon 9 looked great, Dragon was dropped off into a beautiful orbit about 12 minutes into the mission, and we'll get more data as we go,” she said. NASA and SpaceX are broadcasting their historic 27-hour voyage to the orbiting laboratory aboard Dragon Live. Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to dock to the space station tonight (November 16) at approximately 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can watch the ongoing mission Live in the video below.
📍 Reporting LIVE from space! Crew-1 astronauts @Astro_illini, @AstroVicGlover, Shannon Walker, and @Astro_Soichi take you inside their spacecraft as their journey to the @Space_Station continues. Watch: https://t.co/DjLwvMTooU https://t.co/DjLwvMTooU— NASA (@NASA) November 16, 2020
Crew Dragon features the capability to dock autonomously to the space station, it is expected to approach the Harmony module and dock itself as the astronauts supervise the operation first-hand. During the mission, SpaceX commands Crew Dragon from the Mission Control headquarters located in Hawthorne, California, while NASA staff monitors space station operations at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“Watching this mission launch is a special moment for NASA and our SpaceX team,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “We are looking forward to getting this crew to station to continue our important work, and I want to thank the teams for the amazing effort to make the next generation of human space transportation possible.”
WATCH IT LIVE!
NASA BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Nov. 16, Monday [All times in Eastern Time.]
Ongoing - Continuous coverage of the flight of NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Mission on the “Resilience” Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Soichi Noguchi) – Kennedy Space Center/ Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center
11:00 p.m. EST - Docking of the SpaceX “Resilience” Crew Dragon and the Crew-1 Crew to the International Space Station - Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center
Nov. 17, Tuesday
1:40 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
2 a.m. (approximately) - SpaceX Crew-1 Mission post-docking news conference with senior NASA and JAXA officials