In Florida on Sunday, a rocket and capsule manufactured by SpaceX will carry crew members to the International Space Station. The NASA mission follows the successful demonstration of the same spacecraft that launched in May and returned two astronauts to Earth in August. Here is all you need to know about the launch.
What is SpaceX launching?
Four astronauts – three from NASA, one from Jaxa, the Japanese space agency – would be sitting inside a SpaceX crew dragon capsule, extended to orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket. The mission is known as Crew-1, and astronauts have given their capsules the name Resilience. They are going to the International Space Station for a six-month stay.
This is what NASA calls crew dragon’s “operational” flights. In May, there was a demonstration mission, with two NASA astronauts – Robert Bacon and Douglas Hurley – aboard. The launch, in a capsule called Endeavor, was the first time a crew mission has been in orbit from the United States since the retirement of NASA’s space shuttle in 2011. Its return was also the first water landing by astronauts aboard an American spacecraft. Since Apollo capsules stopped flying in the 1970s.
NASA has relied on Russian Soyuz rockets to carry its astronauts to the space station. It has become increasingly expensive, increasing costs by more than $ 90 million on one seat.
When is the launch?
The Crew-1 mission is scheduled to begin Sunday at 7:27 a.m. Eastern Time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Nasa television The broadcast will begin at 3:15 pm
The astronauts will arrive at the Eastern Space Station at 11 a.m. on Monday with a journey of approximately 11 hours.
In its latest weather forecast released Sunday morning, the US Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron offers a 50 percent chance of favorable conditions on the launchpad. SpaceX and NASA are also eyeing the Atlantic Ocean from afar. There is a need to be quite calm in terms of weather and water when something goes wrong during the climb into orbit and the crew dragon needs to be made An emergency splash (Adverse weather conditions postponed the launch date of the first Saturday).
If Sunday’s launch is delayed, Wednesday is a backup opportunity.
Who are the astronauts?
Michael S. Hopkins, 51, a colonel in the United States Space Force, is the commander for the flight. (Colonel Hopkins is also the first member of the newly created US Space Force to go into space.) He was one of nine astronauts selected by NASA in 2009. He has made one previous trip to the International Space Station in 2013 and 2014. Spending 166 days in class.
Shannon WalkerAt the age of 55, he has had a previous stint at the space station in 2010. Dr. Walker has a doctorate degree in space physics from Rice University, where he studied how solar wind interacted with Venus’s atmosphere.
Soichi NoguchiAn astronaut is making his third trip with the 55-year-old Japanese space agency JAXA. He was a member of the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery at the first shuttle launch in 2005 after the loss of more than two years to Columbia and its seven astronauts.
During that visit to the International Space Station, Mr. Noguchi built three spacewalks. It included a testing technique developed to repair damage to heat tiles on Columbia, similar to Columbia when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. In 2009 and 2010, he spent five months in orbit as a crew member of the space station.
Victor glover, 44, selected by NASA as an astronaut in 2013, would be making its first spacecraft. He will be the first Black NASA astronaut to be a member of the crew of the space station. Mr. Glover’s achievement is notable for NASA, which has worked to “spotlight”.Hidden figures“In its history, so far, only 14 black Americans have been sent so that a total of more than 300 NASA astronauts can be taken out of space.
He will not be the first black astronaut at the station. But those who advanced from NASA were members of the Space Shuttle crew during the station’s construction and completed only a brief stay at the outpost.
Alison Waller contributed reporting.