SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts are ready to perform the first-ever port relocation of a Crew Dragon. The spacecraft has been docked to the International Space Station (ISS) for nearly six months, it arrived on November 16, 2020. Crew-1 is the first operational mission out of six crewed spaceflights NASA and SpaceX will conduct as a part of the Commercial Crew Program, which aims to make launching astronauts from American soil routine.
Tomorrow, Monday, April 5th, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, will relocate the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft to clear the path for the arrival of the next astronaut crew. “The relocation will free Harmony’s forward port for the docking of Crew Dragon Endeavour, set to carry four crew members to the station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to launch to the station Thursday, April 22, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,” the agency announced in a press release.
NASA will broadcast the first-ever SpaceX Crew Dragon relocation operation on Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time via NASA TV, video linked below. Crew-1 will undock Crew Dragon Resilience from the forward port of the Harmony module at 6:29 a.m. and move the vehicle to dock into the space-facing port at 7:15 a.m. EDT. During the relocation process, all Crew-1 crewmembers will be onboard Resilience in case the spacecraft is unable to redock to ISS, “This assures there aren’t more crewmembers on the station than seats available on docked crew ships,” the agency stated.
Clearing the Space Station’s forward port of the Harmony module also prepares ISS for the upcoming delivery of solar arrays this summer. Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth in late-April or early May. When they return the Harmony module’s space-facing port will be available for a cargo Dragon capsule to dock for SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Service (CRS-22) mission to ISS planned for June 2021. The capsule will carry “several tons of supplies and the first set of new solar arrays for the space station is scheduled to launch this summer, and requires the space-facing port position to enable robotic extraction of the arrays from Dragon’s trunk using Canadarm2,” the agency shared.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Lot of people's liked this image, so I made a new one with better graphics 😊— Raffaele Di Palma (@RaffaeleDiPalma) April 4, 2021
This is to show why the #Crew1 will redock tomorrow, in order to allow the unload of the first pair of iROSA panels, from the trunk of #CRS22 with the Canadarm2. 1/5 https://t.co/JSAGk8s2cr pic.twitter.com/eOukXVLvbM
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.