This is not a test anymore. SpaceX is looking to make International Space Station astronaut transfers a normal part of NASA operations with the — its first crew rotation flight — this Saturday, Nov. 14.
SpaceX’s groundbreakingin May. It was both harrowing and exciting as actual humans tested out Crew Dragon for the first time. Crew-1 will follow in the footsteps of that successful mission with a launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Crew-1 will carry Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, plus Soichi Noguchi of Japanese space agency JAXA, to the station for a six-month stay. The crew named the spacecraft “Resilience.”
NASA will livestream the launch starting at 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday and will provide continuous coverage of the mission, including docking, the hatch opening and the welcome ceremony. Lift-off is targeted for 4:49 p.m. PT. The docking is scheduled for 1:20 a.m. PT on Sunday.
The launch had been nudged back from an earlier date due to aduring a previous launch attempt for a US Space Force GPS satellite mission.
NASA announced Crew Dragon as “the first new crew spacecraft to be NASA-certified for regular flights with astronauts since the space shuttle nearly 40 years ago” in a statement on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, the US Air Force 45th Weather Squadron was predicting a 60% chance of favorable weather conditions for Saturday. SpaceX tweeted photos showing Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 vertical on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center.
SpaceX and Boeing are partners with NASA in the agency’s, an effort to bring astronaut launches to the ISS back to US soil after years of relying on Russian spacecraft. Crew-1 is a landmark moment in this process.