June 24, 2022

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NASA sets Oct. 23 as target launch date for very first functional Team Dragon mission

NASA sets Oct. 23 as target launch date for very first functional Team Dragon mission
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members are seen seated in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, mission specialist; Victor Glover, pilot; and Mike Hopkins, Crew Dragon commander; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. Credit: SpaceX The first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew…
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members are seen seated in the business’s Team Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, objective specialist; Victor Glover, pilot; and Mike Hopkins, Team Dragon commander; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, objective specialist. Credit: SpaceX

The first operational flight of SpaceX’s Team Dragon spacecraft with 4 astronauts aboard is set to launch from the Kennedy Area Center in Florida no earlier than Oct. 23, following a formal certification evaluation to examine data from the Crew Dragon’s two-man test flight that concluded earlier this month, NASA stated Friday.

The four-person team on the next Team Dragon objective was set to blast off in late September, however NASA revealed Friday that the launch would be pressed back to Oct. 23 to much better fit within the International Space Station’s busy schedule of crew and cargo shipments.

Spacecraft leader Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and objective specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Expedition Firm will ride the Team Dragon spacecraft into orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39 A at the Kennedy Space Center.

Assuming a launch on Oct. 23, the four-person crew will take off around 5: 47 a.m. EDT (0947 GMT) for a predawn climb into orbit. The launch time might be adjusted a little as the International Space Station’s orbit modifications due to aerodynamic drag and possible reboost maneuvers.

A launch Oct. 23 would put Hopkins and his crewmates on course to dock with the space station Oct. 24, starting a six-month exploration on the orbiting research complex.

The Crew Dragon objective set for launch in October will be SpaceX’s first regular crew rotation flight to the spaceport station. Designated Crew-1, the objective follows the very first Crew Dragon flight to the station on a demonstration objective with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

Hurley and Behnken introduced on SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission May 30 from the Kennedy Area Center and docked at the space station the next day. The launch marked the very first time astronauts flew into orbit from U.S. soil given that the retirement of the space shuttle bus in 2011.

The Demo-2 test flight concluded Aug. 2 with Hurley and Behnken’s splashdown Aug. 2 in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA and SpaceX say the Crew Dragon spacecraft carried out well on the 64- day test flight, authorities prepare a review in late August or early September to assess data from the Demo-2 mission and formally certify the Team Dragon for regular crew rotation missions lasting up to seven months.

SpaceX is under contract with NASA for at least six “post-certification” team rotation objectives to the spaceport station through2024 Through a series of financing arrangements since 2011, NASA has actually committed more than $3.1 billion to SpaceX for development, screening and functional flights of the commercial Team Dragon spacecraft.

” NASA certification of SpaceX’s team transportation system permits the firm to regularly fly astronauts to the space station, ending sole reliance on Russia for space station access,” NASA stated Friday.

SpaceX’s Team Dragon spacecraft for the Crew-1 mission at the business’s head office in Hawthorne, California. Credit: SpaceX

In a declaration released Friday, NASA stated the Crew-1 objective’s launch was rescheduled from late September to no earlier than Oct. 23 in order “to accommodate spacecraft traffic for the upcoming Soyuz team rotation and best fulfill the needs of the International Space Station.”

The Team Dragon’s launch Oct. 23 and docking Oct. 24 will follow a Russian Soyuz crew rotation in mid-October.

Russian engineers are readying the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft for launch Oct. 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov, cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.

The Soyuz MS-17 team will dock with the spaceport station a few hours after launch, signing up with station leader Chris Cassidy and Russian flight engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner for a week-long crew handover.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner are because of depart the space station Oct. 21 and head for landing in Kazakhstan, leaving the three-person Soyuz MS-17 team on the orbiting laboratory to await the arrival of the Crew-1 astronauts Oct. 24, which will raise the station team size to 7.

2 U.S. resupply objectives are also scheduled for launch to the space station prior to completion of the year.

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus industrial supply ship is set for liftoff Sept. 29 from Wallops Island, Virginia, on top of an Antares rocket. The Cygnus freight truck will arrive at the station Oct. 3 with a number of lots of experiments, crew provisions and other hardware.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship might introduce from Cape Canaveral as soon as November. That mission will be SpaceX’s 21 st freight launch to the spaceport station, however the very first to use a new supply car style based upon an unpiloted variation of the Team Dragon spacecraft.

The timing of the Crew-1 objective’s launch in October will establish the landing of Hopkins’ crew in late April, about one month after the arranged launch and docking of the next Team Dragon flight– referred to as Crew-2– next spring. NASA desires at least numerous weeks of overlap in between the Crew-1 and Crew-2 astronauts on the spaceport station.

During that duration, Russia prepares to release a fresh Soyuz crew objective to the spaceport station to change Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins. With 8 Team Dragon astronauts and 6 Soyuz team members reoccuring at the station next April, the research study outpost could briefly host 14 astronauts and cosmonauts, climaxing for the a lot of individuals in space at one time.

Boeing is also getting ready for a 2nd unpiloted test flight of its Starliner team pill late this year, but officials have not revealed a target launch date for the mission. The Starliner will dock with the spaceport station in a repeat of an unpiloted demonstration flight in December 2019 that stopped working to reach the orbiting research laboratory.

If that flight works out, Boeing could release astronauts to the space station on its business Starliner spacecraft for the very first time in2021 Like SpaceX, Boeing is under contract with NASA for at least 6 operational Starliner team rotation flights to the station.

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