NASA now plans to launch four astronauts on the International Space Station.The Halloween flight on October 31 marks the first operation of the capsule after a successful test flight earlier this summer.
On October 14, the space agency launched two astronauts and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft on October 14, just nine days after the launch, and two days after the return of NASA flyer Chris Cassidy and two astronaut crew members on October 23. Aimed at the “Crew 1” mission. Earth on October 21 aboard another Soyuz.
By postponing Crew Dragon flights to October 31st, station crews and flight controllers from the United States, Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan will have the opportunity to breathe jointly while allowing additional time to resolve all outstanding issues.
NASA said that “the new target date will resolve the clash of Crew-1 launch and arrival in the upcoming Soyuz launch and landing operation.” Blog post. “This extra time is required to end all ongoing work on the ground and base before Crew-1 arrives.”
Crew 1 commander Michael Hopkins, pilots Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi plan to launch on Oct. 31 at 2:40 a.m. from the historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Docking at the space station is scheduled for around 5am on November 1. They are welcome on board by Rubins and her two crew members, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. It is not yet known whether they will welcome new crew members for Halloween snacks.
NASA is funding SpaceX’s Crew Dragon developmentEnds the agency’s sole dependence on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft for ferry flights to and from the space station.
Since 2006, NASA has spent about $4 billion to purchase Soyuz seats for NASA astronauts. As Rubins take over NASA’s current contracted last spot, the agency expects SpaceX and Boeing to fully deploy staff at the station for the remainder of its operational life.
Under an initial $2.6 billion contract, SpaceX designed a crew version of the dragon cargo ship orbiting on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. Boeing designed its own capsule under a $4.2 billion contract relying on the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket for orbital travel.
SpaceX successfully conducted two mandatory test flights of the Crew Dragon spacecraft in March 2019, an uncontrolled sail to the base and a piloted flight aboard NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Benken. They took off safely on May 30th..
Boeing StarlinerHowever, a major software issue has compromised the mission, and a relight is planned for later this year or early next year. Pilot test flights are scheduled for next spring or summer.
In the meantime, NASA expects to send four astronauts to the space station at a time with SpaceX and Crew Dragon. Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet Explosion in The Crew 2 Mission At the end of April, it replaced Crew 1 colleagues.
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