NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members sit in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during training. From left to right: NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Oliver and Mike Hopkins, and astronauts JAXA Soichi Noguchi.
NASA and SpaceX plan to carry out the company’s first full mission with the astronauts no earlier than October 23, the agency announced on Friday.
Known as Crew-1, the mission will see three US astronauts and one Japanese astronaut eject in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. There, they will spend six months at the space station, conducting research and performing missions.
The Dragon crew will carry NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will lift the tank arrived in Florida in July, in preparation for the Crew-1 launch.
NASA and SpaceX had previously planned to launch the Crew-1 in late September. NASA said the one-month delay was due to “spacecraft traffic”, when the Russian Soyuz spacecraft was prepared to launch into the ISS. October. The agency also said that repulsing the Crew-1 launch would allow “handover of the crew” on the space station. The six-month timeline for Crew-1 means that capsule will arrive until the end of April, coinciding with the SpaceX Crew-2 mission slated for spring 2021 release.
Demo-2 review is ongoing
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft plunges into the Gulf of Mexico with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard on August 2, 2020.
The announcement comes about two weeks after the successful completion of the SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, which carries a pair of NASA astronauts on the company’s first crew mission. Two organizations are currently looking at data from the Demo-2 mission. Assuming no major problems are found, NASA will then certify SpaceX’s rockets and capsule systems to send astronauts to the ISS on a regular basis.
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