SpaceX Completes Static-Firing Of The Falcon 9 That Will Launch Rookie NASA Astronauts To Outer Space

by Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo October 28, 2021

SpaceX Completes Static-Firing Of The Falcon 9 That Will Launch Rookie NASA Astronauts To Outer Space

Rookie NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer will travel to outer space for the first time, alongside veteran NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, as part of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station (ISS). It will be the aerospace company’s fifth crewed spaceflight and third operational mission under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program that aims to make launching astronauts from American soil routine.

Crew-3 crewmembers are excited to embark on journey to orbit the Earth aboard the ISS laboratory, where they will work on science research in microgravity for 6-months. Marshburn is a medical doctor who has worked at the Space Station three times before and the other three crewmembers will earn their astronaut wings once they surpass the Karman line that marks the edge of where space begins at approximately 100-kilometers. The crew will experience seeing our beautiful home planet from outer space for the very first time, the Space Station is orbiting at an altitude of approximately 408 kilometers. They will liftoff aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft on Halloween, October 31st, at 2:21 a.m. EDT atop a previously-flown Falcon 9. Crew-3 is expected to dock to the Space Station around 22-hours after liftoff on November 1st at 12:10 a.m. EDT. 

“This will be the first rocket I've seen in person, so I'm really excited for the whole experience,” Barron told reporters during a press conference. “As the launch gets closer and we get to see our flight capsule and climb around, and then once we get to see it again this week integrated with the rocket… those are the things that I think are helping us kind of deal with reality and the fact that we're actually gonna’ launch here on Sunday,” she said.

SpaceX completed a static-firing of the rocket booster that will propel them to orbit on Thursday morning – ‘a key milestone ahead of launch.’ “While standing on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, the rocket’s nine Merlin first-stage engines roared to life for seven seconds, completing the routine but critical integrated static fire test,” NASA wrote in a press release on October 28. The first-stage booster that will fly again is identified as B1067-2; It previously supported SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-22) mission in June 2021.

Crew-3 will be welcomed by ISS Expedition 65 crewmembers that includes four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts and three Russian cosmonauts. For around a week, the Space Station will have eleven crewmembers aboard when Crew-3 arrives. Crew-2 will undock SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour to return to Earth in November. The agency also announced that the astronauts would conduct a full dry dress rehearsal on Thursday night, during which they will run-through launch day activities. You can watch all events leading to launch day in the video linked below, courtesy of NASA (schedule is in Eastern Time).

NASA TV SCHEDULE

Friday, Oct. 29
12 p.m. – NASA Administrator Media Briefing

10 p.m. – Prelaunch News Conference at Kennedy (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review).

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!

 

 

 Featured Image Source: NASA & SpaceX

 








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