Today, April 15, NASA and SpaceX leaders held a Flight Readiness Review conference in which they discussed whether everything is ready for the upcoming Crew-2 mission, SpaceX’s third crewed flight and second operational launch to the International Space Station (ISS). After the conference, SpaceX and NASA announced they are ready to conduct the next flight launched from American soil. “NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission is GO for launch to the Space Station! Four astronauts are set for liftoff aboard their Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on Thursday, April 22 at 6:11am ET… Watch live starting at 2am,” the agency announced. “The flight readiness review was very successful; we only had one exception,” NASA Head of Human Spaceflight Kathy Lueders said, “It needs to be cleared up in the next few days because it's got to get resolved before the static fire [test],” scheduled for Saturday, April 17, she said. The static-fire test is a routine pre-flight preparation in which the Falcon 9 rocket’s nine Merlin 1D engines are briefly ignited as the vehicle remains grounded to the launch pad.
🚀 NASA's @SpaceX Crew-2 mission is GO for launch to the @Space_Station!— NASA (@NASA) April 16, 2021
Four astronauts are set for liftoff aboard their Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on Thurs., April 22 at 6:11am ET from @NASAKennedy. Watch live starting at 2am: https://t.co/2kpdM37igt pic.twitter.com/li823sOFvA
Falcon 9 is fueled by liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene, SpaceX vice president of build and flight reliability and former NASA human spaceflight chief Bill Gerstenmaier said that the teams “discovered there was a potential loading error, where we may actually be loading a little extra oxygen in our [Falcon 9] tanks.” – “…We reviewed that with the NASA team today, but we didn't have enough time to really go over all the data and look at all the consequences of what that could mean. We're going to take the extra step” to review the issue, he said. Engineers will likely analyze the situation during the upcoming static-fire test and take the necessary steps to ensure all is ‘GO’ for launch.
Image Source: NASA
Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide will liftoff atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft they will ride, called ‘Endeavour,’ is the same one that ferried NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to and from the Space Station in 2020 for the historic Demo-2 demonstration mission that returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States after nearly a decade. The spacecraft has been refurbished and is ready to go vertical at the launch pad over the weekend. By Friday, April 16, Crew-2 astronauts will travel from the NASA Johnson Space Center to the Kennedy Space Center aboard a Gulfstream jet aircraft. NASA will broadcast their arrival via NASA TV, video linked below. The agency will host an event to welcome the astronauts by Friday afternoon starting at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: NASA
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.