SpaceX will launch the second crewed operational mission (Crew-2) to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program later this month. Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, will launch to the orbiting laboratory on Thursday, April 22nd. They will ride SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket that will liftoff at 6:11 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will autonomously dock to the Space Station’s Harmony module by Friday, April 23 at 5:30 a.m. EDT. “It’s been the first time ... in over 20 years that a crew from NASA, ESA and JAXA have flown together,” said NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, SpaceX Crew-2 mission commander; It will be his third voyage to space.
NASA will host a series of conferences ahead of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission next week. Mark your calendars to watch all events Live via NASA TV, linked in the video below. The first conference is a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Media Teleconference scheduled for Thursday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m. EDT. During this briefing NASA and SpaceX mission officials will share the final plans for the Crew-2 mission and whether everything is ready for liftoff. The second conference will be a ‘Crew Arrival Media Event’ at the Kennedy Space Center scheduled for Friday, April 16 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. The Crew-2 quartet will arrive to the center in which they will remain until launch day. Steve Jurczyk, acting NASA administrator, will talk about the mission. By Saturday, April 17, the agency will host a Virtual Crew Media Engagement at 9:45 a.m. EDT with all Crew-2 astronauts. They are expected to share their thoughts about their upcoming spaceflight and answer questions from the media.
"We are starting to get excited; we have been very busy with all of our training… just want to give a shout out to the NASA and SpaceX training teams [that] have done such a great job. We’re ready and we’re excited to fly,” NASA astronaut McArthur, the pilot for SpaceX Crew-2 mission said in March. It will be her second spaceflight, however, it will be her first time working at the Space Station. The Crew-2 launch will also be ESA astronaut Pesquet's second space adventure. “It’s a great feeling. It reminds me of my previous flight, so I think we’ve reached that level when we’re almost ready to fly there are a few finishing touches to put on the crew,” he said. “With this crew and the crew on board, it will be a lot of fun –you know different activities, different experiments and I’m looking forward to that,” JAXA astronaut Hoshide said; It will be his third flight to ISS. Hoshide and Pesquet will serve as Crew-2 mission specialists.
Crew-2 (left to right): ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur, NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
On Monday, April 19 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, the agency will host a Science Media Teleconference to discuss the scientific experiments and research the Crew-2 astronauts will conduct at the ISS Laboratory during their six-month-long mission. Then on Tuesday, April 20, NASA and SpaceX officials will participate in a Prelaunch News Conference at Kennedy Space Center, the time is still pending.
By Wednesday, April 21st, the agency’s Administrator Countdown Clock Briefing will initiate at 10:00 a.m. EDT. This is the final conference ahead of launch day. On Thursday, April 22, Thursday, April 22 at 2:00 a.m. EDT NASA TV launch coverage begins. Crew-2 astronauts will liftoff at 5:30 a.m. EDT. They are expected to dock to ISS Harmony module by Friday, April 23. They are scheduled to dock at 5:30 a.m. EDT, open the capsule’s hatch at 7:35 a.m. EDT and by 8:05 a.m. EDT NASA plans to broadcast a Welcome Ceremony with the crew at the Space Station. Watch all events Live in the video below, courtesy of NASA TV.
WATCH IT LIVE!
All Images Source: NASA & SpaceX
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.