SpaceX will launch Crew-1 Astronauts to the Space Station this weekend -Watch It Live!

SpaceX will launch Crew-1 Astronauts to the Space Station this weekend -Watch It Live!

SpaceX performed its first crewed demonstration mission in May this year. The aerospace company proved its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket is capable of safely transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Now, SpaceX is ready to perform its second crewed launch known as Crew-1, it will be the first operational mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

The Crew-1 mission was previously scheduled to launch on Saturday, November 14. Today NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the launch is rescheduled for Sunday due the Eta tropical storm that is causing ocean disturbance along Florida's coast. --"Update: Due to onshore winds and recovery operations, NASA and SpaceX are targeting launch of the Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the Space Station at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, November 15. The first stage booster is planned to be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2. #LaunchAmerica," Bridenstine wrote via Twitter. SpaceX is the only company in the aerospace industry capable landing orbital-class rocket boosters from space. Recovering rockets enables SpaceX to reduce the cost of spaceflight by reusing boosters. 



The four astronauts that will be launched atop SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket this weekend are: Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Michael Hopkins who are flying for NASA and Soichi Noguchi who works for the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Everyone is a veteran astronaut except Glover, it will be his first voyage to space. Astronaut Glover will make history as the first African American Navy Commander Pilot to launch aboard Crew Dragon and live at the space station for an extended period. "... I try to stay away from the bittersweet discussion of being the first Black astronaut assigned to a long-duration mission on the space station," he told reporters, "I want to go do it first, I want to go do my job, and so I think the best thing that I can do, better than anything I could say, is to go do my job and do it well, and then come back and tell people about it. And I think this job, by its very nature, is inspirational and hopefully gives people something to unify around and celebrate together. [...]"

Crew-1 will be part of Expedition 64, work at the ISS orbiting laboratory for six months, perform science research and spacewalks to upgrade the space station. --"When we have additional astronauts, a full complement of crew on the International Space Station, the amount of research is going to be transformational," Bridenstine said. Learn more about some science experiments Crew-1 will perform in Tesmanian's previous article linked below.



The Crew-1 mission will mark the first of many crewed operational flights launched from American soil. For the past decade, NASA booked voyages aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft; SpaceX officially returned human spaceflight capabilites to the United States.  --"We are returning the United States’ capability for full launch services and we’re very honored to be a part of that,” Benji Reed, SpaceX’s Senior Director of human spaceflight, said during a press conference on Tuesday. He mentioned that SpaceX will fly 7 crew and cargo missions over the next 15-month period. “That means that starting with Crew-1, there will be a continuous presence of SpaceX Dragons in orbit,” Reed told reporters. We will see two Dragon spacecrafts docked at the space station next year.


NASA will livestream the Crew-1 mission in the video linked below (schedule is in Eastern Time). The agency will broadcast operations on Sunday morning and follow the astronauts voyage aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon for approximately eight hours until they dock to the space station's Harmony module. Dragon operates autonomously, it is expected to dock itself to ISS. The astronauts gave a special name to the spacecraft, they call it "Resilience". Crew-1 Commander NASA Astronaut Hopkins shared 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 added.




Sunday, Nov. 15

3:15 p.m. EST – Coverage of the Launch 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; launch scheduled at 7:27 p.m. EST; coverage will be continuous through docking and hatch opening on Sunday, Nov. 15) – Kennedy Space Center/ Hawthorne, Calif./Johnson Space Center

9:30 p.m. EST – NASA/ SpaceX Crew-1 Postlaunch News Conference (time is subject to change)- Kennedy Space Center

November 16, Monday
11 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 

November 17, Tuesday
1:40 a.m. EST - 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. EST (approximately) - SpaceX Crew-1 Mission post-docking news conference with senior NASA and JAXA official

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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