SpaceX Falcon 9 is ready to launch Crew-1 Astronauts this weekend

SpaceX Falcon 9 is ready to launch Crew-1 Astronauts this weekend

SpaceX and NASA are ready to launch Crew-1 astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) over the weekend. The mission is scheduled for Saturday, November 14 at 7:49 p.m. EST. It will be the second crewed flight launched from American soil in nearly a decade as part of the agency's Commercial Crew Program. Crew-1 will be SpaceX's first operational mission featuring an international crew, three NASA Astronauts and one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut. The NASA astronauts are: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA Astronaut Soichi Noguchi.



Overnight, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft was rolled-out and raised vertical on Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket's upper-stage features NASA’s retro 'worm' logo in red bold letters, symbolizing a new era in human spaceflight, pictured below.





The Commander of the Crew-1 mission Astronaut Hopkins shared with reporters they named the Crew Dragon spacecraft 'Resilience'.  --"We're excited about the opportunity to name our vehicle. The Crew-1 Dragon capsule, no. 207, will henceforth be known by the call sign 'Resilience'," he stated. Hopkins explained that 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.

All Images Source: NASA / SpaceX

On October 31st, the astronauts entered an official two-week quarantine period known as "Flight Crew Health Stabilization". It is a routine pre-flight preparation to ensure astronauts remain healthy before launching to the orbiting laboratory. They have also been in quaratine with minimal contact with others to protect themselves amid the coronavirus outbreak. "Some additional safeguards have been added because of the coronavirus. Anyone who will come on site or interact with the crew during the quarantine period, as well as any VIPs, will be screened for temperature and symptoms," the agency wrote in a press release, "Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi, as well as those in direct, close contact with the crew, will be tested twice for the virus as a precaution."


A couple of days ago, Crew-1 arrived at the Kennedy Space Center where they will spend the rest of their quarantine period ahead of the upcoming flight to ISS aboard Crew Dragon. "As you can imagine, we're very excited to be here," Hopkins told reporters during a virtual news conference on Monday (video above). "We've been here less than 24 hours, and in that time we have seen our rocket, we've seen our space vehicle, 'Resilience,' and we've seen our spacesuits. And so for an astronaut, that's considered a pretty good day." In the video shown below, the astronauts shared what they are tasked to do during the mission.



Today, November 10, the agency continued a two-day meeting that initiated yesterday, in which NASA and SpaceX officials discuss the Crew-1 Mission plans and go over a 'Flight Readiness Review' to determine if everyone and everything is ready to perform the important flight to ISS. After the meeting is completed this afternoon, the agency will share more details on whether they are all ready to fly the astronauts to the space station on Saturday. 



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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