NASA pushes back first SpaceX Crew Dragon ISS operational mission to Halloween

From left, NASA’s Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins will be part of JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi on the Crew-1 flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon.


The SpaceX Crew Dragon made history this 12 months with a crewed take a look at flight to and from the Worldwide Area Station — the first-ever mission utilizing a commercially constructed and operated US spacecraft. Now it is time to make Dragon rides enterprise as ordinary. On Monday, NASA introduced a new target launch date for the first Crew Dragon operational mission generally known as Crew-1.

Crew-1 is now scheduled to launch Saturday, Oct. 31, at 2:40 a.m. ET (11:40 p.m. PT on Oct. 30) on a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida. 

The operational mission — in different phrases, not a take a look at mission — was initially focused for Oct. 23, which might have put it shut in time to a Russian Soyuz launch of a brand new three-person crew to the ISS and return of the present three-person crew to Earth. 

“The brand new goal date will deconflict the Crew-1 launch and arrival from upcoming Soyuz launch and touchdown operations,” stated NASA. “This extra time is required to make sure closure of all open work, each on the bottom and aboard the station, forward of the Crew-1 arrival.” 

There is a second purpose for the delay. NASA has been working to isolate a slow air leak, which is not thought-about a hazard to the crew. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin performed leak assessments that finally tracked it down to the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS.

Crew-1 can have 4 astronauts on board: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, and Soichi Noguchi of Japanese area company JAXA. They’re able to go, as Glover tweeted last week: “Crew-1 is full with Dragon Rider coaching. We have our license to fly! Thanks to all that made this doable. We hope to make you proud!”

October is shaping as much as be a busy month for ISS launches with a cargo resupply craft, a Soyuz capsule and Dragon all set to get off this rock. 

The longer term ISS residents of Crew-1 are scheduled for a six-month keep in area. At the least they’ve their Halloween costumes sorted out. They are going as astronauts.

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Amanda Kooser