SpaceX and NASA continue to prepare to launch Crew-1 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) over the weekend. The Crew-1 mission will be the first operational mission featuring an international crew of NASA and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronauts. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA Astronaut Soichi Noguchi will ride SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket that is scheduled to liftoff at 7:49 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 14, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
All Imaged Source: NASA / SpaceX
Today, November 11, SpaceX engineers completed a final Falcon 9 rocket pre-flight test ahead of the vital mission. This afternoon teams ignited Falcon 9's nine Merlin 1D engines during a routine static-fire test performed to ensure all engines work optimally. NASA shared the rocket’s engines were fired for 7 seconds. "Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST for launch of Crew Dragon’s first operational mission to the Space Station with four astronauts on board. Teams will continue monitoring weather conditions for liftoff and along the flight path," SpaceX announced via Twitter.
Static fire of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST for launch of Crew Dragon’s first operational mission to the @space_station with four astronauts on board. Teams will continue monitoring weather conditions for liftoff and along the flight path— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2020
Crew access arm swings into place pic.twitter.com/XAImd6nLJV— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 11, 2020
The United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron forecasts 60% chance of favorable weather conditions at Cape Canaveral on launch day. 'Teams will monitor weather conditions both for the launch area and downrange. The primary weather concerns for launch will be cumulus clouds associated with onshore moving showers along a weak frontal boundary as Eta [tropical storm] merges with a mid-latitude system as it moves across North Florida and the Atlantic toward the end of this week," the agency wrote in a press release on Wednesday.
See photos of the @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket static fire test in preparation for the launch of the Crew-1 mission from @NASAKennedy to the @Space_Station. More #LaunchAmerica 📷: https://t.co/6OY3kX0Dni pic.twitter.com/mw2mOAlb7w— NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) November 11, 2020
Tomorrow, November 12, the Crew-1 astronauts will perform a dress rehearsal to go over everything they will do before heading to space on Saturday. The rehearsal will include a liftoff countdown as the astronauts ride the spacecraft wearing their spacesuits. NASA will host a 'Launch Readiness Review' meeting on Friday to discuss and determine if everything is ready to launch Crew-1 to the Space Station. After the Launch Readiness Review meeting is over, NASA will host a press conference that will be live-streamed in the video below.
WATCH IT LIVE!
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.