SpaceX will conduct its fifth crewed spaceflight this Halloween. Known as Crew-3, it will be the third operational mission as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program dedicated to transport crew to and from the International Space Station (ISS). A previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket will liftoff on October 31st at 2:21 a.m. EDT. to propel Crew-3 aboard Crew Dragon Endurance to orbit. "Falcon 9 and Dragon are looking good for Sunday morning’s launch. Weather forecast is 80% favorable for liftoff, while teams are keeping an eye on weather along the ascent corridor," SpaceX announced.
On Thursday night, SpaceX Crew-3 ran through launch day activities ahead of Sunday’s liftoff. NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Matthias Maurer, participated in a countdown dress rehearsal at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. It will be the first spaceflight for Chari, Barron, and Maurer, who are excited to see Earth from space and work at the Space Station. Marshburn will become a three-time space flyer, as a medical doctor he looks forward to visiting the ISS Lab again to conduct more science research on human biology in microgravity.
“Crew-3 astronauts, SpaceX, and NASA completed a full rehearsal of launch day activities,” the company announced on October 28. During the rehearsal, teams assisted Crew-3 crewmembers into their custom-made SpaceX spacesuits at the Astronaut Crew Quarters in Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building.
NASA shared that the crew then took an elevator down to the first floor to exit the building and were transported to KSC Launch Complex-39A aboard Tesla Model X electric vehicles. When they arrived to the launch pad, Crew-3 Dragon Spacecraft Commander Chari, Pilot Marshburn, and Mission Specialists Barron and Maurer practiced countdown operations. They took an elevator at Pad-39A to go up the launch tower’s Crew Access Arm, which is a narrow hallway that leads to Crew Dragon’s entrance hatch atop of the 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket.
Falcon 9 and Dragon are looking good for Sunday morning’s launch. Weather forecast is 80% favorable for liftoff, while teams are keeping an eye on weather along the ascent corridor pic.twitter.com/PG4rP1Xeg6— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 29, 2021
Teams helped the crew strap into the spacecraft’s seats and the crew proceeded to do all tasks they will do ahead of liftoff, which includes checking their communications systems before SpaceX teams close the hatch. They concluded their “rehearsal with a Go/No-Go poll for Falcon 9 fueling, which normally occurs about 45 minutes before liftoff,” NASA shared. The agency will broadcast the Crew-3 mission Live early on Halloween morning, you can watch it in the video linked below (schedule is in Eastern Time). NASA will also host a pre-launch conference and will broadcast the welcome ceremony at the Space Station when Crew-3 astronauts arrive. They are expected to dock at ISS Harmony module approximately 22-hours after liftoff on November 1st at 12:10 a.m. EDT.
NASA TV SCHEDULE
Saturday, Oct. 30
10 p.m. – NASA Television launch coverage begins. NASA Television will have continuous coverage, including launch, docking, hatch open, and welcome ceremony.
Sunday, Oct. 31
2:21 a.m. – Launch
Monday, Nov. 1
12:10 a.m. – Docking
1:50 a.m. – Hatch Opening
2:20 a.m. – Welcoming Ceremony
WATCH IT LIVE!
Edit: NASA Astronaut Tom Marshburn has flown Twice to outer space. Crew-3 will be his third spaceflight.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy 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.