On Sunday, November 15, SpaceX launched Crew-1 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft is carrying three NASA astronauts and one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut on a 27-hour voyage to the orbiting laboratory, where they will work on science research for six months. The astronauts are expected to arrive to the space station tonight at approximately 11:00 p.m. EST. The spacecraft features the capability to operate autonomously; It will dock itself to the station's Harmony module. The agency is broadcasting Live footage of the mission, shown in the video below.
This afternoon, the astronauts provided a tour of Crew Dragon as they continue their long voyage. NASA Astronaut Mike Hopkins, who is Crew-1 Mission Commander, initiated the tour from the spacecraft's cockpit. Dragon features a stylish black and white interior that matches the SpaceX spacesuit color scheme. --"...Welcome aboard Crew Dragon Resilience!" he said, "...We are very pleased to welcome you onboard as we journey to the International Space Station. Currently, we are going to give you just a little bit of a tour, of our home for the next few hours," he said, as he showed the cockpit's trio of touchscreens. The modern displays are used to control Dragon, each provide information of every system in the spacecraft, including location and altitude data, as well as live views of Earth. The screens are compatible with SpaceX's spacesuit gloves.
Each Crew-1 astronaut provided a brief tour of Dragon. NASA Astronaut Victor Glover talked about the spacecraft's pair of hatch doors, used to exit the spacecraft upon returning to Earth and a forward hatch used to enter the space station's module. --"So when we go to the station we will actually be going to ISS through the forward hatch," he said, as he showed where the hatch is located -at the top of the vehicle.
JAXA Astronaut Soichi Noguchi provided a glimpse of Crew Dragon's storage area that is located underneath the four spacecraft seats. The "Dragon capsule has an amazing vast area of storage.. and i am now sitting over the lockers," Noguchi shared, "This is quite a roomy area. There might be other creatures kind of floating, coming to you," he joked, as he tossed a Baby Yoda plush toy towards the camera. The small, soft toy is used as a zero gravity indicator. When the astronauts arrived to orbit Baby Yoda floated in microgravity indicating the astronauts reached space environment. "This is very important stuff, this is the storage area for the EVA [Extravehicular Activity/Spacewalk] equipment...," Noguchi continued the tour as Baby Yoda floated away, video below. He also playfully shared the spacecraft carries a refrigirator which holds "ice-cream... no, no, no, science materials! Science materials for the ISS," he said.
Watch as @Astro_illini, @AstroVicGlover, Shannon Walker and @Astro_Soichi give a tour around the @SpaceX Resilience #CrewDragon, and Victor Glover gets his gold astronaut pin! https://t.co/cBNqC61h27 pic.twitter.com/lnm93r7LAd— Intl. Space Station (@Space_Station) November 16, 2020
NASA Astronaut Shannon Walker shared what is like to be aboard the spacecraft. --"...With the four of us in this Dragon capsule is quite a bit more crowded than it is with just Doug and Bob," she said, in reference to SpaceX's first crewed demonstration mission which launched a pair of astronauts to ISS in May. "So, I thought I would show you some of what is like to actually live on a spacecraft like this (video above)."
Everyone aboard the spacecraft is a veteran astronaut with experience working in microgravity except NASA Astronaut Victor Glover. During the Crew Dragon Resillience tour, Crew-1 astronauts welcomed Glover to space. "We are going to close out this little tour of Dragon Resillience here with something very, very special," Crew-1 Commander Hopkins said, "This is something that is tradition within the astronaut office and just to give you a little history on it, so, when you are first selected as an astronaut, and you come in for your basic training, you go through about two years of training to become an astronaut," he said, after training the astronaut receives a silver pin, "But once you pass the 100-kilometer mark, you then get a gold pin," Hopkins said as he handed Glover a gold pin to commemorate his first trip to space. "Congratulations!" the crew applauded and smiled. "All for one, Crew-1 for all!"
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
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.