NASA and SpaceX are preparing to return the first operational crew (Crew-1) and launch the second crew (Crew-2) as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program that returned America’s capability to launch astronauts to space. This week, agency officials announced that Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, alongside Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, will liftoff to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, April 22. They will launch atop a Falcon 9 rocket aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft at 6:11 a.m. EDT from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The quartet will meet the Crew-1 astronauts at the Space Station, it will be the first time two crewed SpaceX missions overlap. They will share ISS for around five days; Crew-1 astronauts will return to Earth on Wednesday, April 28, after over 100 days working at the laboratory. Crew-1 NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi are scheduled to undock Crew Dragon Resilience at 5:00 a.m. EDT. They will ride the spacecraft and plunge into Earth’s atmosphere to perform a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida at around 12:35 a.m. EDT.
NASA announced it will host a Commercial Crew Program Crew-2 Flight Readiness Review (FRR) on April 15, in which agency and SpaceX leaders will discuss the upcoming launch. “With Crew-2 mission preparations continuing, Crew-1 astronauts also are preparing to relocate the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft from one space station docking port to another on April 5 to clear the desired location for Crew-2’s arrival,” the agency stated in a press release, “This is the start of a process that allows Crew-2 to dock to the Harmony Node 2 forward port, freeing up the Node 2 Zenith port – following Crew-1 departure – for extraction of the new solar arrays from the SpaceX CRS-22 cargo mission’s trunk when it arrives.” CRS-22 is SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Service mission that will launch cargo to the orbiting laboratory by June. [All dates mentioned are subject to change.] Read more about the next crew that will launch to space in the previous TESMANIAN article, linked below.
Meet The Astronauts Who Will Launch Aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Next Monthhttps://t.co/bPEMTso58c— Tesmanian.com (@Tesmanian_com) March 25, 2021
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.