Russian cosmonaut prepares for first SpaceX mission
Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will be the first to take a seat aboard a SpaceX spacecraft. Kikina and three astronauts will launch to the International Space Station no sooner than Oct. 3 for the NASA Crew-5 mission. The group will be seeking to show ISS space science can continue to carry on as normal amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
SpaceX likely lead provider for 2 new ISS private missions
NASA said Wednesday (Sept. 14) that it has asked private industry for proposals for two private ISS missions to run between late 2023 and 2024. SpaceX already has experience in providing such services, as its Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft sent the first all-private Axiom Space mission, called Ax-1, to the orbiting complex earlier this year.
SpaceX receives 5 mission orders from NASA
The deal covers Crews-10 through Crew-14 and will use SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rockets. NASA stated the contract “allows NASA to maintain an uninterrupted U.S. capability for human access to the space station until 2030.”
SpaceX, NASA delay Crew-5 launch to avoid traffic jam
“The date adjustment allows for extra separation with spacecraft traffic coming to and from the space station,” agency officials said in the brief update, NASA announced in an update today (opens in new tab) (Aug. 25). The agency did not provide more details about their concerns regarding the traffic jam.
SpaceX examines possible debris, addresses Crew-5 rocket damage
“We did get reports of debris from a trunk,” Benjamin Reed, senior director of SpaceX’s human spaceflight program, told reporters during a livestreamed NASA Crew-5 press briefing Thursday (Aug. 4).
He emphasized that SpaceX worked closely with NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration before the Crew-1 mission to minimize Crew Dragon debris, and that if the charred hardware is indeed SpaceX’s, it came down exactly where predicted.
SpaceX is also working to address minor damage to the Crew-5 Falcon 9 first-stage booster, which came in contact with a bridge during transport. Reed said SpaceX is committed to making the fixes to address NASA’s rigorous safety requirements. The damage delayed the launch until September.
Possible SpaceX Crew-1 debris spotted in Australia
Charred material, possibly a remnant from a SpaceX spacecraft, was discovered in a sheep paddock near Dalgety, Australia. Witnesses in the region heard a “bang” July 9 local time. Weeks later, two region farmers came across large and unfamiliar pieces of hardware on their large properties.
SpaceX has not yet confirmed if the piece was a part of its Crew-1 Dragon spacecraft that splashed down successfully on May 2, 2021. That said, two space debris trackers suggest it was indeed from that mission, given that Dalgety was underneath the projected re-entry pathway of an unpressurized “trunk” piece of Dragon, jettisoned before re-entry.
United Arab Emirates astronaut joins Crew-6
UAE astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi was announced Monday (July 25) as the fourth crew member of SpaceX’s Crew-6 mission, which is expected to launch in 2023. AlNeyadi will be the first astronaut from an Arab nation to conduct a long-duration mission on the International Space Station. His seat was arranged through a previously disclosed agreement with Axiom Space.
AlNeyadi will join NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, who will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, aboard Crew-6. A Roscosmos cosmonaut, Andrei Fedyaev, joined the crew this month following a seat swap deal between Russia’s federal space agency and NASA to fly cosmonauts aboard private American vehicles, in exchange for U.S. Soyuz seats.
Read more in our story about AlNeyadi’s assignment.
Crew-3 splashes down safely
SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut mission returned to Earth after nearly six months in orbit early Friday morning (May 6), splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast right on schedule at 12:43 a.m. EDT (0443 GMT). Read our story here.
SpaceX Crew-3 Dragon Endurance headed home
SpaceX’s Crew-Dragon Endurance is headed back to Earth to return four astronauts home from the International Space Station for NASA and the European Space Agency.
The Dragon Endurance capsule undocked from the space station today, May 5, at 1:20 a.m. EDT (0520 GMT) to begin a day-long trip home. The spacecraft is expected to splash down in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the Florida coast, at 12:43 a.m. EDT (0443 GMT).
Endurance is returning SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut mission for NASA back to Earth. The mission, which launched in November 2021, ferried NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer to the station for a six-month trip.
You can watch the SpaceX Crew-3 landing live online, courtesy of NASA TV. NASA is providing live coverage through the landing now.
Crew-4 astronauts enter ISS
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station have entered the orbiting laboratory, ending their 15-hour trip to the orbiting lab.
Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Bob Hines and mission specialists Jessica Watkins (all NASA astronauts) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency floated inside the station’s Harmony module just after 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT April 28), where they were welcomed with big hugs from the station’s Crew-3 astronaut team.
There are now 11 people living aboard the space station. NASA postponed the traditional welcome ceremony for the Crew-4 astronauts as the station’s Russian crew is currently asleep, resting ahead of a planned spacewalk on Thursday (April 28).
NASA will hold a belated welcome ceremony at 2:40 a.m. EDT (0640 GMT) on Thursday once the cosmonauts awake for the spacewalk day.
That will wrap up Space.com’s Crew-4 launch and docking coverage. Thank you for joining us. This live blog will resume with the next SpaceX Crew Dragon mission event, the Crew-3 undocking, which is scheduled for May 4.
Docking! SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts reach ISS
SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronaut mission has arrived at the International Space Station.
The Crew-4 mission’s Crew Dragon Freedom docked at the space station’s Harmony module at 7:37 p.m. EDT (2337 GMT), nearly 40 minutes earlier than expected, as both spacecraft sailed 261 miles over the central Pacific Ocean.
A series of hooks and latches will secure the Freedom capsule to the station while the Crew-4 astronauts prepare to doff their SpaceX pressure suits and enter the station. Hatch opening is expected to occur at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT April 28).
In the meantime, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn inside the space station will work to pressurize a vestibule between the two spacecraft. After some leak checks, the hatches between Freedom and the International Space Station will be opened, ending the 15.5-hour trip to the station for the Crew-4 mission.
The Crew-4 astronauts include commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Bob Hines and mission specialist Jessica Watkins (all of NASA), as well as mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency. They are beginning a six-month mission to the orbiting lab.
Docking sooner than expected
.@NASA TV is providing live coverage of the @SpaceX #Crew4 mission to the space station. Dragon Freedom is currently ahead of schedule for a docking at 7:30pm ET today.https://t.co/9rgtDCTSvqApril 27, 2022
After their successful launch this morning (April 27), the astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission will dock with the International Space Station earlier than expected.
Running ahead of schedule, the crew’s Dragon capsule, named Freedom, will now dock with the orbiting lab at 7:30 p.m. EDT (1130 GMT) tonight.
“@NASA TV is providing live coverage of the @SpaceX #Crew4 mission to the space station. Dragon Freedom is currently ahead of schedule for a docking at 7:30pm ET today,” the International Space Station Twitter account shared.
Crew-4 astronauts in orbit
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission for NASA are successfully in orbit and adapting to life in space. The astronauts are on a 16-hour trip to the International Space Station.
Crew-4 is commanded by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren with crewmate Bob Hines as pilot. NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are mission specialists for the flight.
The astronauts are expected to dock at the space station tonight at 8:15 p.m. EDT (0015 GMT on April 28), with hatch opening set for 9:45 p.m. EDT (0145 GMT).
Touchdown: Crew-4 SpaceX Falcon 9 lands safely
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket first stage has successfully landed on its drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean to end its successful launch of the Crew-4 astronauts.
Meanwhile, the Crew Dragon Freedom successfully separated from its Falcon 9 upper stage to mark its arrival in orbit. It’s nose cone is deploying to clear its docking port for the arrival at the International Space Station in 16 hours.
Falcon 9 first stage reentry burn complete
SpaceX’s Crew-4 Falcon 9 rocket booster has performed an entry burn to slow itself for its return to Earth.
A final landing burn is coming up ahead of landing, which will mark this booster’s fourth landing for SpaceX.
Liftoff! SpaceX launches Crew-4 astronauts to space station
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has launched toward orbit carrying the Crew-4 astronauts.
The first stage successfully shut down and separated from the upper stage shortly after liftoff and is now returning to Earth for a landing.
The upper stage continues on a nominal trajectory toward orbit.
‘Let’s let Dragon roar and Freedom ring,’ astronauts say
SpaceX and the Crew-4 astronauts just shared a final message before today’s launch. You can watch it launch live here.
“We’re honored to have you aboard Dragon capsule Freedom today. It’s been a privilege working together to prepare for this launch to the International Space Station,” SpaceX’s mission control radioed the crew. “We wish you a great mission. Good luck, Godspeed. Time to let Freedom fly.”
“Copy, SpaceX. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our international partner teams and families for getting to the threshold of this amazing opportunity to launch to the International Space Station,” Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren radioed back. “A heartfelt thank you to every one of us that made this possible. Now let’s let Dragon roar and Freedom ring.”
SpaceX now fueling 2nd stage of Falcon 9 rocket
SpaceX’s fueling operations for the Crew-4 Falcon 9 rocket is continuing, with the company now loading propellant into the second stage of the booster.
Unlike the Falcon 9’s first stage, which will return to Earth for a planned landing, the second stage is disposable and will be discarded after delivering the Crew Dragon Freedom into orbit.
Fueling for both the first and second stages should complete at T-2 minutes to launch.
SpaceX fuels Falcon 9 rocket for Crew-4 launch
SpaceX has begun fueling the Falcon 9 rocket for today’s Crew-4 astronaut launch to the International Space Station.
Fueling began at the T-34 minute mark as SpaceX began loading the Falcon 9 with the liquid oxygen and RP-1 rocket-grade kerosene for today’s launch.
SpaceX has activated the launch escape system on the Crew Dragon Freedom. That system is designed to use a set of eight SuperDraco engines to pull the capsule free of its Falcon 9 booster if needed in the case of a launch emergency.
T-1 hour to launch for Crew-4 astronauts
NASA and SpaceX are now less than one hour away from this morning’s launch of the Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station and all systems continue to be green for an on-time liftoff at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT) from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Crew-4 astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins (all of NASA) and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are strapped inside their Crew Dragon Freedom awaiting launch. Weather, the spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket are all in good shape for launch.
In the next hour, SpaceX will proceed with final fuel loading of the Falcon 9 rocket to gear up for the launch and 16-hour flight to the space station.
NASA has released some new images of the crew’s walkout to the launch pad earlier in today’s countdown. Check them out above.
Dragon Freedom’s hatch closed ahead of Crew-4 launch
The side hatch of Freedom, the SpaceX Dragon capsule for Crew-4, was closed about an hour and 45 minutes before the mission’s planned liftoff on April 27, 2022. Technicians then examined the seal around the hatch, to make sure it wouldn’t leak in space.
Crew-4 astronauts have entered their Dragon
The four Crew-4 astronauts entered their Dragon capsule, which they named Freedom, about 2 hours and 40 minutes before their planned liftoff in the early morning hours of April 27, 2022.
Crew-4 astronauts are at the launch pad
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission have arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A ahead of their liftoff at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT). All four paused to look up at their Falcon 9 rocket ride before getting into the elevator that took them up the launch tower toward their Dragon capsule.
Walk out complete: Crew-4 astronauts are headed to the launch pad
The Crew-4 astronauts on their way to the launch pad. The four spaceflyers walked out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) at about 12:30 a.m. EDT (0430 GMT). They headed outside and, after saying goodbye to their loved ones, got inside the three Teslas that will drive them to KSC’s Launch Complex 39A.
Weather 90% go for Crew-4 liftoff
Forecasts indicate a 90% chance of weather favorable enough to allow for the launch of SpaceX’s Crew-4 astronaut mission for NASA early Wednesday morning (April 27), agency officials said. The liftoff is scheduled to take place at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“The primary weather concerns are cumulus cloud and flight through precipitation rules,” NASA officials wrote in an update late Tuesday night (April 26). “Teams also continue to monitor the weather conditions along in Crew Dragon’s flight path, which is expected to be favorable for launch.”
SpaceX Crew-4 launch GO for April 27 liftoff
NASA and SpaceX have given the “go” to launch the Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station early Wednesday, April 27, at 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 GMT).
SpaceX and NASA signed off on the mission late Monday night after a final flight readiness review mission.
NASA’s launch webcast will begin tonight at 12 a.m. EDT (0400 GMT), leading up to the Crew-4 launch. You can watch that live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV and SpaceX.
Crew-4 launch delayed to April 26 at the earliest
SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station will now launch no earlier than Tuesday (April 26), because of delays in the departure of the private Ax-1 astronaut mission from the orbiting lab. Read our full story.
Crew-4 static fire test
The SpaceX Crew-4 mission completed the critical static fire test of its Falcon 9 rocket ahead of the mission’s launch, which is planned for April 23, 2022, SpaceX revealed on Twitter today (April 20).
During a static fire test, a rocket’s engines are ignited while it is stationary, testing how the engines will perform during launch prior to the actual launch itself.
Crew-4 rolls out, completed dress rehearsal
On April 23, 2022, SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission is set to launch with a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station.
Yesterday (April 19), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a new Crew Dragon capsule named Freedom atop were rolled out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the launch. They are now vertical on the pad, NASA revealed in a new blog post (opens in new tab).
Additionally, overnight last night, the Crew-4 astronauts conducted a countdown dress rehearsal, going through the events expected for the launch day.
The crew, who are set to spend approximately six months living and working aboard the orbiting lab, includes NASA astronauts and mission commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Robert Hines and mission specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti (of the European Space Agency).
This will be the second spaceflight for both Lindgren and Cristoforetti and the first flight for Hines and Watkins, who will be the first Black woman to live and work on the station.
Crew-3 watches a Russian spacewalk!
Yesterday there was a spacewalk just outside our window! Crewmates Oleg and Denis continue to add improvements to their MLM module as the sun sets behind them. pic.twitter.com/Y8Es29mLtSApril 19, 2022
International Space Station commander and Crew-3 NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn shared an incredible view of the sun setting on Earth behind two cosmonauts on a spacewalk.
Yesterday (April 18), Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev performed a spacewalk to install a control panel for a new European robotic arm on the orbiting lab. As Marshburn’s photo shows, the astronauts inside the station were able to see the cosmonauts as they worked.
“Yesterday there was a spacewalk just outside our window! Crewmates Oleg and Denis continue to add improvements to their MLM module as the sun sets behind them,” Marshburn tweeted (opens in new tab).
Crew-3 astronauts join Expedition 66 on ISS
After a brief welcome ceremony, in which the Crew-3 astronauts spoke with NASA and European Space Agency leaders, the four members of SpaceX’s latest crewed spaceflight for NASA are settling into their new home in orbit.
Crew-3 commander Raja Chari, pilot Tom Marshburn and mission specialists Kayla Barron (all of NASA) and the European Space Agency’s Matthias Maurer joined NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov to complete the station’s Expedition 66 crew.
The astronauts are beginning a six-month mission to the space station that began with a successful launch from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday night.
With Crew-3 successfully on the International Space Station, this will conclude our coverage of the mission’s launch and docking. We’ll resume during the next Crew Dragon milestone for SpaceX.
Thanks for joining us and keep looking up!
The crew is inside the space station
The Crew-3 astronauts are now inside the International Space Station after opening the hatch to the Crew Dragon at 8:25 p.m. EST (0025 GMT). A welcome ceremony will begin on NASA TV at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT) with comments from the crew.
Crew Dragon Endurance secured to space station
SpaceX’s Crew-3 Dragon spacecraft Endurance has secured itself to the International Space Station, marking an end of today’s successful docking.
“Happy to be at ISS,” Crew-3 commander Raja Chari radioed to SpaceX and NASA mission controls.
The astronauts clasped hands in a mini-celebration to mark their arrivals, a moment captured live on NASA TV.
The hatches between Crew Dragon Endurance and the space station are scheduled to open at 8:10 p.m. EST (0110 GMT) after a series of leak checks and pressurization activities.
At 8:45 p.m. EST (0145 GMT), all seven astronauts on the station (four from Crew-3 and three Expedition 66 crew) will join in a welcome ceremony on NASA TV.
You can watch all of that space action in the NASA TV feed at the top of this page.
Soft capture complete
The Dragon completed a “soft capture” at 6:32 p.m. EST (2332 GMT), making its first contact with the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles (423 kilometers) above the Eastern Caribbean. Hard capture will be completed once the 12 hooks that hold the Dragon in place have been secured.
Crew Dragon approaching the station
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance is now less than 10 minutes away from docking with the International Space Station. The spacecraft has just arrived at “waypoint 2,” roughly 20 meters (66 feet) from its docking port. A final “go/no go” call for the docking maneuver is expected at any moment.
Dragon “go” for docking
SpaceX and NASA have given the Crew Dragon Endurance the official “go” for docking, and the Crew-3 mission is on track to dock with the International Space Station at 6:33 p.m. EST (2333 GMT). The crew has slipped back into their flight suits and are getting ready for their arrival at the orbiting lab.
Crew-3 astronauts beam live views from space
The astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew-3 Dragon Endurance just held a short 5-minute video call from space to show off their crew capsule. You can watch it here.
The astronauts showed off some zero-g games, like tossing food around, spinning in weightlessness and more to give an idea of what life is like aboard Dragon.
They can see the the International Space Station outside their window as they close in for docking tonight.
New docking time for Crew-3
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance is ahead of schedule and will now reach the International Space Station with its Crew-3 astronauts at 6:33 p.m. EDT (2333 GMT), 40 minutes earlier than planned, NASA officials have said.
It’s Docking Day for Crew-3
SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronauts are awake and gearing up for their docking day in orbit aboard their Crew Dragon Endurance.
The astronauts awoke at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) and asked to hold a moment of silence to honor the service and sacrifice of military service veterans for the Veterans Day holiday in the United States. Crew-3 commander asked flight control
“Thanks on behalf of Endurance and SpaceX and NASA, and really the world, to all the veterans who give us the ability to do this on a daily basis,” Crew-3 commander Raja Chari of NASA, who joined NASA in 2017 as a U.S. Air Force Colonel select.
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts chasing space station
It’s docking day for the astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission for NASA and they will begin their first full day in orbit with a wakeup call at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) as they prepare to arrive at the station later tonight.
The Crew-3 astronauts went to sleep at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT) to end their launch day after last night’s successful liftoff, but not before recording a video tour of their brand-new Crew Dragon Endurance. You can see that video in the window here or directly here.
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts headed to space station
The astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission are doing well and settling in to their 22-hour cruise to the International Space Station, NASA officials said in a postlaunch conference. You can read our full launch wrap here:
The astronauts have doffed their spacesuits and will share a meal in space as they prepare to arrive at the space station Thursday night (Nov. 11). Docking is set for 7:10 p.m. EST (0010 GMT on Nov. 12).
The astronauts will go to sleep for the night at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT) on Thursday to rest up for the docking. They will wake up at about 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT).
In the meantime, SpaceX is guiding the Crew Dragon Endeavour through a series of engine burns to match course with the station. Earlier this evening, the spacecraft opened its nosecone that covers its docking port.
Check out some photos from tonight’s launch above and if you’d like more, see our full SpaceX Crew-2 mission photo gallery (opens in new tab).
NASA post-launch press conference coming up
NASA will hold a post-launch press conference soon and you can listen to it live in the window above.
In the meantime, the Crew-3 astronauts have been given the go-ahead to get out of their SpaceX spacesuits to settle into the 22-hour cruise to the International Space Station. They’re due to arrive at the station tomorrow evening.
Tonight’s post-launch press conference is slated to begin at 10 p.m. EST (0300 GMT) and will feature the following speakers:
Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA Johnson
Frank de Winne, program manager, International Space Station, ESA
Crew Dragon Endurance in orbit, 1st stage landing
Spacecraft Separation! The Crew Dragon Endurance has separated from its Falcon 9 upper stage and is officially in orbit.
“Thanks for the great ride, it was better than we imagined,”Crew-3 commander Raja Chari of NASA tells launch control.
T+7 minutes: All is going well with the mission
Now past the 7 minute mark into today’s launch, all is going well.
The first stage has begun its entry burn.
Stage Separation for Crew-3
MECO and Stage Separation: The 1st stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has separated and is headed back to Earth. The 2nd stage has ignited and is powering the Crew-3 astronauts to orbit.
LIFTOFF! SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts launch toward ISS
Liftoff! SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has launched off Pad 39A to carry the Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station for NASA.
This is the first flight for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance, the newest crew capsule of the company’s fleet. It is the second flight for the Falcon 9 first stage.
Minutes to SpaceX Crew-3 launch
SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission is in the final minutes before launch. Flight controllers have the crew a final GO as the end of fueling nears. Liftoff is at 9:03 p.m. EST.
“Sometimes when you try to fly on Halloween you get a trick instead of a treat, but we’ll be proud to be flying on Dragon on Veterans Day,” Crew-3 commander Raja Chari radioed flight controllers. The mission was originally scheduled to launch on Oct. 31 and delayed by weather and a crew medical issue. They’ll be in orbit on Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11.
Fueling begins for Crew-3 launch
SpaceX has begun fueling the Falcon 9 rocket with its rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant. This late-fueling process should take about a half an hour and top off just a few minutes before liftoff.
Crew Access Arm retracted, escape system armed
SpaceX has retracted the Crew Access Arm away from the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Crew-3 Dragon Endurance and armed its launch escape system for today’s launch.
The escape system consists of powerful SuperDraco thrusters that are designed to pull the Crew Dragon Endurance away from its Falcon 9 rocket in the event of a launch emergency. It’s known as pusher system as it pushes the capsule away from its booster, rather than pulling it away like the escape towers on Russia’s Soyuz rockets.
T-1 hour to SpaceX Crew-3 launch
SpaceX is now 1 hour to launch for tonight’s Crew-3 astronaut mission for NASA.
SpaceX just radioed the four Crew-3 astronauts that the mission is “go for launch.”
Over the next hour, SpaceX’s closeout crew will retreat to a safe distance from the launch pad while the crew access arm is retraced away from its Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX will begin loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket at 8:28 p.m. EST, a process that should take about a half hour.
Liftoff is on track for 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
Weather is GO for SpaceX Crew-3 launch
SpaceX flight controller report that weather conditions have cleared up for tonight’s Crew-3 launch. The rain at NASA’s Pad 39A seen earlier has passed and the weather is again clear for tonight’s launch at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
SpaceX’s closeout crew has completed its work on the closed hatch of the Dragon capsule, with just over an hour before for launch.
SpaceX Dragon hatch closed for launch
Now just under 2 hours to launch, the hatch to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endurance has been closed, sealing the four astronauts inside for tonight’s launch. Liftoff is on track for 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
A series of leak checks are underway to ensure a good seal for the Dragon hatch.
Currently, weather is No Go for tonight’s launch due to rain. That weather should clear up in time for launch, SpaceX says.
Crew-3 Dragon astronauts in launch position
The four Crew-3 Dragon astronauts are strapped into their seats aboard the Endurance spacecraft for tonight’s SpaceX launch to the International Space Station at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
SpaceX’s Dragon seats rotate into launch position after crew ingress to ensure they’re in the proper position for flight. Each of the astronauts performed a series of communications checks to ensure they can hear SpaceX launch controllers and have a tablet to use as they check systems for launch.
Crew-3 astronauts enter Crew Dragon Endurance
The Crew-3 astronauts are boarding their Crew Dragon Endurance for SpaceX’s launch tonight.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn are already inside while crewmates Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer were next after a short wait inside a White Room outside the capsule hatch.
For SpaceX launches, astronauts sign the wall of the White Room as a tradition before launch.
Crew-3 astronauts arrive at launch pad
The Crew-3 astronauts have reached the launch pad in their NASA-themed Teslas (they have NASA’s worm logo on the side).
The four astronauts will take a moment to appreciate the view of their rocket on the pad and post for photos before taking the elevator up to SpaceX’s closeout room and board their Crew Dragon Endurance.
Tonight’s launch remains on track for 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
Crew-3 astronauts head to launch pad
The four Crew-3 astronauts are headed to NASA’s Pad 39A in their Tesla transports for the 20-minute drive to their Falcon 9 rocket.
The astronauts are riding in two Teslas, two per car, and are expected to listen to custom music playlists for the short trip to the launch pad.
All systems appear to be working well on their Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endurance for tonight’s launch at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
Crew-3 astronauts walk out to Teslas
The Crew-3 astronauts have completed their suit up and are walking out to a fleet of Tesla electric cars that will transport them to NASA’s Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center where they will board their Crew Dragon Endurance.
It’s a bit rainy at the spaceport right now, with media and crew friends and family wielding umbrellas on NASA’s webcast.
Crew-3 astronauts suit up for launch
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission for NASA are in the Operations and Checkout Building suiting up for launch.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency Matthias Maurer have donned their SpaceX launch suits for today’s liftoff, which is on track for 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT).
SpaceX Crew-3 Launch Webcast Begins
NASA’s webcast for tonight’s SpaceX Crew-3 launch is officially underway, with launch set for 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT). Weather is currently 70% GO for the launch, NASA officials say.
The launch will send ASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer to the space station on a six-month trip to the International Space Station.
You can watch the webcast live above, courtesy of NASA TV.
SpaceX, NASA ‘go’ for Crew-3 astronaut launch
SpaceX and NASA are “go” to launch the Crew-3 astronaut mission to the International Space Station, mission officials announced late tonight.
The decision clears the way for SpaceX to launch four astronauts on a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT Nov. 11) from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
There is an 80% chance of good weather at launch time, according to a forecast from Space Launch Delta 45 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station near NASA’s KSC spaceport.
The Crew-3 mission will launch NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer to the space station on a six-month expedition. Their launch comes two days after the splashdown of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission for NASA.
On that Crew-2 flight, one of the parachutes on its Crew Dragon capsule was slow to inflate, but it was within tolerances (the Dragon capsule can land with only three parachutes, and did fully inflate before splashdown. The occurrence posed no issue for the Crew-3 launch, officials said.
About 6 hours before the Crew-3 launch, the International Space Station will have to fire its thrusters to dodge space debris leftover from a defunct Chinese satellite, but will be complete in time for launch, NASA officials said.
Update: SpaceX, NASA Briefing now at 11 pm ET
Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon, and Venus above Falcon and Dragon tonight pic.twitter.com/S76YV1XTV2November 10, 2021
Update: The conference is beginning now. You can listen live above and at this NASA link.
NASA and SpaceX are now targeting 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT) for tonight’s prelaunch briefing for the Crew-3 mission.
While we wait for NASA and SpaceX to start their Crew-3 prelaunch briefing, check out this nice view of the moon, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn with the mission’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endurance.
New time for SpaceX, NASA Crew-3 briefing
NASA and SpaceX will now hold their prelaunch Crew-3 press conference, which is now a teleconference, at 10:30 p.m. EST (0330 GMT Nov. 10) as they discuss plans to launch the four-astronaut mission on Wednesday night. You’ll be able to follow the briefing in the livestream at the top of this page.
Liftoff is scheduled for Wednesday night at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT Nov. 11).
NASA, SpaceX to talk Crew-3 astronaut launch plans
NASA and SpaceX will hold a prelaunch press conference tonight, Nov. 9, at 9:30 p.m. EST (0230 GMT Nov. 10) to discuss plans to launch a new four-astronaut crew to the International Space Station. You can watch it live here at start time in the video feed above.
SpaceX is scheduled to launch the Crew-3 mission for NASA on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 9:03 p.m. EST (0203 GMT Nov. 11) after days of more than a week of delays due to bad weather and a crewmember’s undisclosed medical issue.
Crew-3 will launch NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer on a six-month mission to the space station. Chari, Barron and Maurer are making their first trips to space, while Marshburn is a veteran.
Crew-2 astronauts exit Crew Dragon Endeavour
The four SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts have exited their Crew Dragon Endeavour capsule after tonight’s successful splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico.
SpaceX recovery teams helped the astronauts from the capsule one by one. Crew-2 pilot Megan McArthur was first and followed by Crew-2 commander Shane Kimbrough. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide was next, with European Space Agency Thomas Pesquet rounding out the team.
That will be a wrap for our SpaceX Crew-2 splashdown coverage. On Tuesday, Nov. 9, we’ll shift to the upcoming Crew-3 launch for NASA on Nov. 10.
Dragon hatch opened for crew extraction
SpaceX’s recovery teams have opened the side hatch of the Crew Dragon Endeavour and are working to extract the four astronauts inside to complete their return to Earth.
SpaceX recovery team retrieves Crew Dragon
SpaceX’s recovery ship GO Navigator has retrieved the Crew Dragon Endeavour from the ocean and placed it on a “Dragon Nest” so it can be opened inside the ship and its crew extracted.
Splashdown! Crew-2 back on Earth
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour successfully splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT on Nov. 9) after a smooth descent and landing.
“It’s good be be back on planet Earth,” NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough says as Crew-2’s Dragon Endeavour splashes down.
SpaceX’s recovery teams have already reached the bobbing capsule in fast boats to safeguard the capsule and prepare it for retrieval by SpaceX’s GO Navigator recovery ship. Today’s splashdown marks the second successful flight of the Dragon Endeavour.
SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon spotted by recovery teams
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour has been sighted as it descended back to Earth during today’s reentry and splashdown. The spacecraft has deployed its main parachutes.
SpaceX Crew Dragon enters Earth atmosphere
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour is now reentering the upper atmosphere and has entered a 7-minute communications blackout as it plunges to Earth and experiences superhot temperatures on its descent.
Deorbit burn complete, nosecone closure under way
SpaceX reports the deorbit burn for the Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour is complete and went as expected. SpaceX flight controllers have sent the command to close the Dragon’s nosecone for reentry.
Crew-2 deorbit burn underway
The deorbit burn is underway for tonight’s Crew-2 splashdown back to Earth. The burn began at 9:39 p.m. EST and will last 16.5 minutes. Splashdown is set for 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT) in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida.
At 9:59 p.m. EST (0259 GMT), the Crew Dragon Endeavour should close its open nose cone, which will cover the upper hatch of the capsule for reentry.
Endeavour’s base is covered with a protective heat shield of tiles to ward off the searing heat of reentry. It will use parachutes to slow its descent during splashdown.
Crew Dragon Jettisons Trunk
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour has jettisoned its “trunk,” the cylindrical service module at the base of the spacecraft, exposing its heat shield and freeing the crew capsule for its reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.
The trunk section includes the solar arrays and other systems vital for the Crew Dragon’s time in orbit. It can also carry supplies or external hardware for the space station.
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts prepare for deorbit
The four Crew-2 astronauts are preparing to fire their Crew Dragon Endeavour’s thrusters in a 16.5-minute burn to leave orbit for tonight’s reentry and splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico near Florida.
The astronauts are in their SpaceX spacesuits and strapped in for the descent. The deorbit burn will begin at 9:39 p.m. EST (0239 GMT) and will end at 9:55 p.m. EST (0255 GMT).
SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon departs space station
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour is en route back to Earth after flying around the International Space Station and performing a departure burn to head back to Earth.
Dragon is performing a series of thruster burns to guide itself back to Earth for a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 Nov. 9 GMT).
A deorbit burn is scheduled for 9:39:27 p.m. EST to set the stage for landing.
SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon flying around space station
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour is in the midst of a flyaround maneuver around the International Space Station after today’s successful undocking.
Pilot Megan McArthur is overseeing the flyaround, which has completed two of four thruster burns as Endeavour loops around the station. The maneuver will take 90 minutes to circle the station while other Crew-2 astronauts photograph the station from the capsule.
The space station will have completed nearly an entire orbit of Earth as the Dragon Endeavour loops around the outpost.
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts undock from space station
SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronauts have undocked their Crew Dragon Endeavour from the International Space Station are preparing to fly around the space station before departing for their return to Earth.
Undocking occurred on time at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT) as Endeavour and the station flew 259 miles above Chile. The space station flyaround maneuver will last about an hour and a half.
Tonight’s splashdown remains on target at 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT).
NASA Crew-2 undocking coverage begins
NASA’s undocking coverage for SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission has begun.
Today’s undocking is set for 2:05 pm EST (1905 GMT) and will be followed by a first-of-its-kind Dragon flyaround of the International Space Station.
Crew-2 closes hatches between Dragon, ISS
The hatch between SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour and International Space Station is officially closed, with hatch closure coming at about 12:12 p.m. EST (1712 GMT).
The Crew-2 astronauts shut the Dragon hatch, and astronauts on the International Space Station are preparing to shut their side’s hatch to end today’s prep work for undocking later today.
A correction to our earlier post: While Crew-2 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur are in their SpaceX pressure suits for undocking, their crewmates Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet have not yet put on their suits. They are doing so now.
Once the space station hatch is closed, a series of leak checks will ensue before today’s undocking at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT). NASA’s undocking webcast will begin at 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT).
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts prepare Dragon for undocking
NASA’s webcast is underway for today’s SpaceX Crew-2 undocking and the mission’s four astronauts are configuring their spacecraft for its return to Earth today.
Crew-2 commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur are in their seats configuring the spacecraft for departure while crewmates Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet also prepare for departure. All four astronauts have donned their SpaceX spacesuits for the undocking.
Today’s undocking is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT), with splashdown set for 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT) off the coast of Florida, near Pensacola.
It’s Landing Day for SpaceX’s Crew-2
It’s landing day for Space’s Crew Dragon Endeavor.
The Dragon spacecraft will return to Earth today (opens in new tab) with the four astronauts of NASA’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station after delays due to bad weather at their Florida coast splashdown site. Returning to Earth are NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Their Dragon capsule will undock from the space station at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT) and splashdown off a Florida coast at 10:33 p.m. EST (0333 GMT). Before undocking, the astronauts will bid farewell to their Expedition 66 crewmates on the space station in an hatch closure ceremony set for 12:40 p.m. EST (1740 GMT).
You can watch it all happen live online. NASA’s hatch closure webcast will begin at 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GMT) and resume for undocking at 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT) and continue through splashdown.
SpaceX Crew-2 undocking and landing delayed
SpaceX and NASA have postponed the undocking and splashdown of their Crew-2 astronauts at the International Space Station by one day due to bad weather at their splashdown sites. You can read our full report here (opens in new tab).
The Crew-2 astroanuts will now undock their Crew Dragon Endeavour from the space station on Monday, Nov. 8, at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT) and splash down that night at 10:33 p.m. EST (0433 GMT) off the Florida coast. NASA and SpaceX will pick a primary and backup splashdown site as they get closer to the actual event to factor in weather conditions.
Of course, you’ll be able to watch the undocking and splashdown events live here at start time. NASA’s webcasts begin Monday at 11:45 a.m. EST (1645 GFMT). Here’s a rundown of the webcast schedule, courtesy of NASA:
Monday, Nov. 8
11:45 a.m. EST– Coverage begins for 12:40 p.m. hatch closure
1:45 p.m. EST– Coverage begins for 2:05 p.m. undocking (NASA will provide continuous coverage from undocking to splashdown)
10:33 p.m. EST– Splashdown
NASA Crew-2 Landing Press Conference
NASA will hold a landing pre-landing press conference for SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronauts and you can listen live in the window at the top of this page. The teleconference will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT) and will preview NASA and SpaceX plans to undock the Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour from the International Space Station on Sunday, Nov. 7, and return its crew to Earth early Monday morning.
“NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission now is targeting a return to Earth no earlier than 7:14 a.m. EST Monday, Nov. 8, with a splashdown off the coast of Florida,” NASA wrote in a statement. “The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 1:05 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7, to begin the journey home.”
Space station changes command for Crew-2 landing
The International Space Station officially has a new commander as European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet handed control of the station over to Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov today as Pesquet and his fellow Crew-2 crewmates prepare to leave the station on Sunday.
Pesquet handed command of the Station’s Expedition 66 crew to Shkaplerov in a Change of Command ceremony broadcast live on NASA TV at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT).
Pesquet, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide will undock their SpaceX Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour from the station on Sunday and return to Earth with a splashdown of the Florida coast early Monday morning.
Later today, at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT), NASA and its partners at JAXA and ESA will hold a final pre-landing press teleconference to discuss landing options for the Crew-2 astronauts. You can listen in on that press conference live in the window at the top of this page.
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts to land Sunday
SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronaut mission will undock from the International Space Station on Sunday (Nov. 7) to return to Earth early Monday and you can watch it all live here, courtesy of NASA TV.
NASA’s webcasts begin Saturday, Nov. 6, with a change of command ceremony on the station at 1:35 p.m. EDT (1735 GMT) followed by a pre-landing press teleconference at 5:30 p.m. EDT (2130 GMT). The Crew-2 astronauts are wrapping up a six-month mission to the space station. They include NASA astronauts Shan Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency.
On Sunday, NASA’s undocking coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT) with a hatch closure ceremony on the station in which the hatches between the Crew-2 Dragon Endeavour and space station will be closed for departure.
Undocking is set for 1:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT) and NASA will webcast it live starting at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT).
NASA will then livestream continuous coverage of the Crew-2 mission’s return to Earth through splashdown, which will occur on Monday, Nov. 8, at 7:14 a.m. EDT (1114 GMT) off the coast of Florida. A final splashdown target will be selected closer to landing.
SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts meet the press today
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station will meet the press today at 12:30 p.m. EDT (1630 GMT) and you can watch it live here, courtesy of NASA TV. The event will air live in the window at the top of this page.
The Crew-2 astronauts will speak to the media from their home on the space station ahead of their planned return to Earth, which could occur as early as Sunday, Nov. 7. NASA and SpaceX have not yet finalized their return to Earth after delays launching their relief team Crew-3.
The Crew-2 astronauts are NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, European Space Agency Thomas Pesquet and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
Crew-3 launch delayed as NASA eyes Crew-2 landing
NASA has announced it will launch the Crew-3 mission no earlier than Monday (Nov. 8). The delay comes as the agency continues to monitor a minor medical issue affecting a crewmember and in response to poor weather forecasts for the Florida launch region over this weekend, according to a NASA statement.
The agency is still evaluating when to bring the Crew-2 mission back to Earth but is targeting no earlier than Sunday (Nov. 7) for the splashdown of four astronauts who have been in space since April.
If Crew-2 departs the International Space Station before Crew-3 arrives, NASA will have only one astronaut at work on the orbiting laboratory, Mark Vande Hei, who arrived on a Russian Soyuz vehicle and will remain in space until next spring.
Crew-3 launch delayed to Nov. 6
NASA and SpaceX have delayed the launch of the Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6, citing a minor medical issue with one of the crewmembers.
Liftoff is now scheduled for no earlier than Saturday (Nov. 6) at 11:36 p.m. EDT (0336 Nov. 7 GMT), NASA officials said in a statement (opens in new tab). (NASA has not yet released an updated schedule of prelaunch activities that will be available to watch live on NASA TV.)
LAUNCH UPDATE: @NASA’s @SpaceX #Crew3 mission is now targeted to launch no earlier than 11:36pm ET on Saturday, Nov. 6 due to a minor medical issue involving one of its crew members.More details: https://t.co/Wwjb9U8G9G pic.twitter.com/PCiUhYD2bNNovember 1, 2021
SpaceX, NASA delay Crew-3 launch
SpaceX and NASA have postponed the planned Halloween launch of their Crew-3 astronaut mission to the International Space Station due to bad weather near its launch site.
In an announcement early this morning, NASA announced the Crew-3 mission will now launch on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Liftoff is scheduled for 1:10 a.m. EDT (0510 GMT).
The delay is “due to a large storm system meandering across the Ohio Valley and through northeastern United States this weekend, elevating winds and waves in the Atlantic Ocean along the Crew Dragon flight path for the Oct. 31 launch attempt,” NASA officials wrote in a statement.
NASA’s launch coverage will now begin on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 8:45 p.m. EDT (0045 GMT).
NASA, SpaceX to talk Crew-3 mission launch plan
Update 2: NASA reports its Launch Readiness Review meeting has concluded. The press briefing should begin shortly.
Update: NASA and SpaceX’s Launch Readiness Review briefing is a teleconference and will not be broadcast on NASA TV. It will now begin no earlier than 11:15 p.m. EDT (0315 GMT).
NASA and SpaceX will hold a press conference tonight, Oct. 29, at 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT) to discuss plans to launch four new astronauts to the International Space Station on Halloween.
The press conference at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Caneveral, Florida will present results from a Launch Readiness Review meeting for SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission, which will launch a new crew to join the seven Expedition 66 astronauts currently aboard the station.
NASA Chief to talk SpaceX Crew-3 launch
SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut mission for NASA is two days away from its Oct. 31 launch and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will hold a press conference today to discuss the mission.
Nelson will talk at 12 pm ET and you can watch the press briefing live in the window at the top of this page.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch four astronauts on the Crew-3 mission to the International Space Station on Sunday, Oct. 31, at 2:21 a.m. EDT (0621 GMT). The crew includes NASA astronauts Raja Chari, commander; Tom Marshburn, pilot; Kayla Barron, mission specialist; and European Space Agency astronaut Mattias Maurer, mission specialist.
Speaking in today’s briefing will be:
- Bill Nelson, NASA administrator
- Bob Cabana, NASA associate administrator
- Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
- Janet Petro, director, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center
- Woody Hoburg, NASA astronaut
NASA to discuss science on SpaceX Crew-3 launch
NASA will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) today to discuss the science riding to the International Space Station on the SpaceX Crew-3 mission.
You can watch that press conference in the live video feed at the top of this page.
Here’s a taste of what’s on board (opens in new tab) from NASA’s announcement.
SpaceX test-fires Falcon 9 for Crew 3 launch
SpaceX successfully test fired the Falcon 9 rocket for its Crew-3 astronaut mission for NASA today (Oct. 28), clearing the way for a planned Halloween launch to the International Space Station.
The Falcon 9 rocket, which has flown once before on the uncrewed CRS-22 cargo mission for NASA, fired up is nine first-stage Merlin engines for a brief static-fire test atop Launch Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete – targeting Sunday, October 31 at 2:21 a.m. EDT for launch of Dragon’s fifth human spaceflight,” SpaceX wrote in an update.
SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission for NASA will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station to join the current Expedition 66 crew. The Crew-3 team includes NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer. Chari will command the mission with Marshburn as pilot. Marshburn has flown in space before, while the other crew astronauts will make their first flight.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rolls out to launch pad
The Falcon 9 rocket set to launch SpaceX’s Crew-3 astronaut mission into space on Oct. 31 rolled out to its Pad 39A launch site Wednesday (Oct. 27) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Falcon 9, which has flown once before, will launch a new SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule called Endurance to the International Space Station for NASA’s Crew-3 astronaut flight. Riding aboard will be NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer. T
The astronauts spoke with reporters earlier Wednesday, one day after arriving at the launch site.
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts arrive at Florida launch site
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station for NASA have arrived at their Kennedy Space Center launch site in Florida and ready for their Halloween liftoff on Oct. 31.
Crew-3 commander Raja Chari, pilot Tom Marshburn, mission specialist Kayla Barron (all of NASA) and mission specialist Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency are now in their final days ahead of their launch. They will launch to the station at 2:21 a.m. EDT (0621 GMT) and arrive at the station on early Monday morning.
Space.com contributor Amy Thompson captured the crew’s arrival here (opens in new tab).
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts meet the press
The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-3 launch for NASA are taking questions from the press ahead of their Halloween launch to the International Space Station. You can watch it in the window at the top of this page.
SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts head to launch site
UPDATE: NASA now reports the SpaceX Crew-3 astronaut arrival event at the Kennedy Space Center will begin around 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT).
SpaceX’s Crew-3 Dragon capsule is in its hangar at Launch Pad 39A (opens in new tab) to meet its Falcon 9 rocket and the mission’s four-astronaut crew is due to arrive at the launch site later today.
The Crew-3 astronauts are expected to land at NASA’s Shuttle Landing Facility today at 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT) and you can watch their arrival live. NASA’s webcast of the crew’s arrival will appear at the top of this page, as well as on our Crew-3 webcasts page.
SpaceX is ‘go’ for Halloween Crew-3 launch
SpaceX and NASA have cleared the Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance and its Falcon 9 rocket to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on Halloween (Oct. 31) on the Crew-3 mission. The call came late last night after a Flight Readiness Review. You can read our full story by Mike Wall for details.
Liftoff remains set for early Sunday at 2:21 a.m. EDT (0621 GMT) from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceX is working to wrap up one final issue before flight: a slight redesign of the Crew Dragon’s toilet. In September, toilet problems during SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 flight revealed that a tube leading to a urine storage tank had popped loose, allowing urine into a fan system instead of its intended tank.
For the Crew-3 flight, SpaceX is revamping the toilet system to include an all-welded structure that would prevent similar tube separations. Once SpaceX completes its work, NASA will have to sign off on the change, something that is expected in coming days.
NASA talks launch plans for SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission
NASA and SpaceX mission managers are meeting today in a Flight Readiness Review meeting that will decide if SpaceX’s next crewed mission for NASA is ready for liftoff.
Called Crew-3 (opens in new tab), SpaceX’s next astronaut mission for NASA will launch three American astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut to the International Space Station on a six-month mission. Liftoff is set for Oct. 31 (Halloween) at 2:21 a.m. EDT (0621 GMT). The crew includes mission commander Raja Chari and mission specialists Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, all from NASA, and European astronaut Matthias Maurer.
SpaceX and NASA will hold a media teleconference tonight to discuss today’s Flight Readiness Review meeting and you’ll be able to listen in live. That briefing will begin no earlier than 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) tonight. You can watch live at the top of this page or directly from NASA here (opens in new tab).
11 crewmembers on space station
The joint crews of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission and the International Space Station have joined up to form one big group of 11 people in orbit.
“We’re so excited to be here, we’re ready to get to work,” Crew-2 pilot Megan McArthur told acting NASA astronaut Steve Jurczyk after entering the station.
There won’t be 11 people together on the space station for long. The four astronauts of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission, which launched in November 2020, will return to Earth on April 28, leaving seven crewmembers behind.
You’ll be able to find that mission coverage here with live landing updates and coverage.
The Crew-2 astronauts, meanwhile, will stay onboard for the next six months.
That will wrap up our live coverage for Crew-2’s launch and docking. Thanks for joining us.
Hatches open between Crew Dragon, Station
The hatches are officially open between SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon capsule and the International Space Station.
Crew-2 astronauts opened the final hatch between their two spacecraft at 7:05 a.m. EDT (1105 GMT) as the two vehicles sailed 267 miles over the South Pacific Ocean.
The Crew Dragon crew will install some ducts for air circulation before entering the station. Inside the station, the station’s Expedition 64 crew is eagerly awaiting their new crewmates.
SpaceX Crew-2 docks at space station
SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon spacecraft successfully docked itself (opens in new tab) at the International Space Station Saturday (April 24), making history as the first used SpaceX capsule to ferry astronauts to the orbiting lab.
The Crew Dragon Endeavour docked at the space station at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) to deliver NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and Thomas Pesquet of France to their new home for the next six months.
After a series of leak checks, the hatches between Endeavour and the space station will be opened at 7:15 a.m. EDT (1115 GMT). A welcome ceremony with all 11 of the astronauts on the station is expected at 7:45 a.m. EDT.
Crew-2 astronauts wake for docking day
The four Crew-2 astronauts have awakened in orbit aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour for what will be their docking day at the International Space Station. Astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur (both of NASA), Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and Thomas Pesquet of France awoke at just after 10 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT) to start their Flight Day 2.
Endeavour is scheduled to dock itself at the space station on Saturday, April 24, at 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT) after a series of orbital maneuvers, a flyaround of the station and closing burns to dock at the forward port of the station’s U.S.-built Harmony module.
Elon Musk: “Feels like a dream”
Speaking during a news conference held shortly after launch, SpaceX founder Elon Musk talked about how important it was for the company to be flying crew. “I’m just really proud of the SpaceX team and honored to be partnered with NASA and helping with JAXA and ESA as well,” he said. Read more here
Amazing photos of Crew-2 launch
SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronaut launch for NASA painted the predawn sky with dazzling colors and the photos are just spectacular. This photo, taken by Space.com contributor Amy Thompson, shows SpaceX’s Falcon 9 1st stage and 2nd stage after separation.
NASA, SpaceX to hold post-launch press conference
NASA and SpaceX are expected to hold a press conference at around 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT) to discuss today’s successful launch to the International Space Station. You can follow that press conference in the livestream above or by visiting here.
Crew Dragon Endeavour chasing space station
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour is chasing the International Space Station in what will be a 23-hour flight to the orbiting laboratory.
Endeavour has performed a “phasing burn” one of several maneuvers to keep the spacecraft on track to arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday, April 24. Docking is set for 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 GMT).
The four Crew-2 astronauts will soon take off their sleek SpaceX-issue spacesuits and don more comfortable clothes for trip to the space station.
Crew Dragon safely in orbit
Following a spectacular early morning launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, Crew Dragon and its crew of four astronauts are safely in orbit.
Crew Dragon has separated from the Falcon’s second stage, nosecone deploy is coming up as the spacecraft is beginning its approach to the International Space Station.
Touchdown! Falcon 9 1st stage nails landing at sea
The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket for today’s Crew-2 launch has successfully landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean following today’s astronaut launch for NASA.
This marks the second landing for this Falcon 9 rocket and the second crewed flight. It launched NASA’s Crew-1 astronaut mission to the International Space Station in November 2020.
LIFTOFF! Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon heading for orbit
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft has lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.
NASA Crew-2 commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur are reporting that the launch vehicle and spacecraft are performing nominally as they commence the 12-minute climb to orbit.
Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon: T-minus 5 minutes and counting
The Crew Dragon spacecraft has transitioned to internal power for this morning’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 5:49 AM EDT (0949 GMT) from Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
The Falcon 9 propellant tanks have been topped off with liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1). As the countdown nears T-0, flight computers will assess the Falcon 9 engine steering system and the vehicle’s propellant tanks will be pressurized to flight pressure.
At T-minus 3.3 seconds, the engine controller commands the Merlin engines ignition sequence to commerce, building up to maximum power for launch
In the Crew Dragon spacecraft, Crew-2 mission commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur are conducting final launch preparations, assisted by mission specialists Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet.
No technical issues are being worked. Weather conditions are ‘Green.’ GO FOR LAUNCH!
Here’s a summary of the final countdown and ascent to orbit milestones:
-00:01:00 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks
-00:01:00 Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
-00:00:45 SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
-00:00:03 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
-00:00:00 Falcon 9 liftoff
+00:00:58 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
+00:02:33 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
+00:02:36 1st and 2nd stages separate
+00:02:44 2nd stage engine starts
+00:07:15 1st stage entry burn
+00:08:47 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
+00:08:52 1st stage entry burn
+00:09:22 1st stage landing
+00:12:00 Crew Dragon separates from 2nd stage
+00:12:46 Dragon nosecone open sequence begins
Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon: T-minus 10 minutes and counting
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, has been cleared for launch at 5:49 AM EDT (0949 GMT).
The mission management team has been polled and all have reported ‘Go for launch.’ The four astronauts are strapped into their seats, running through pre-launch checklists and are closely monitoring spacecraft systems in preparation for their ascent to orbit.
No technical or vehicle issues are being worked at this time, with very little chatter on the internal communication loops. Weather conditions and the Eastern Range are ‘Green’ for launch.
Falcon 9 ‘GO’ for propellant load
Falcon 9 has been cleared to commence propellant loading. The SpaceX launch director has just given the OK to start fueling the first stage of the 215 foot-tall (65 meter) two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which is powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1).
The crew access arm is being retracted and Crew Dragon’s emergency launch escape system will be armed, preparing the spacecraft to separate from the launch vehicle in the unlikely event of anomaly on the pad or during ascent. Once the system is armed, propellant loading will soon follow.
Crew Dragon features an advanced abort system with eight SuperDraco engines and a series of parachutes that can be activated instantaneously from the moment they are armed on the launch pad all the way through orbital insertion.
The four astronauts have just closed and locked their visors in preparation for launch.
The SpaceX launch team is not working any technical issues at this time with Falcon 9 or Crew Dragon. Weather is currently ‘Green’ for launch.
Launch is scheduled for 5:49 AM EDT (0949 GMT).
Closeout Crew Departs Launch Pad
Rock, paper, scissors!The crew is going through their steps ahead of schedule and are passing the extra time aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft with a couple of rounds of the game. pic.twitter.com/1MUSHQUnyiApril 23, 2021
SpaceX’s closeout crew has departed Launch Pad 39A ahead of today’s Crew-2 astronaut launch on a Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endeavour.
Today’s countdown has proceeded smoothly, with no weather or vehicle concerns.
NASA has captured some video of the Crew-2 astronauts playing Rock, Paper, Scissors inside Endeavour after hatch closure. Check it out above.
Update: That hand signal game by the Crew-2 astronauts was not, in fact, Rock Paper Scissors, but a game astronaut Thomas Pesquet played as a kid growing up in France, per NASA.
Countdown proceeding smoothly
The countdown is proceeding smoothly for this morning’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:49 AM EDT (0949 GMT).
Communication checks between the launch team, flight controllers and the spacecraft have been completed.
The launch team is carefully reviewing vehicle data to decide if fueling operations can commence; shortly, the SpaceX launch director is expected to give the OK to start loading propellants into the 215 foot-tall (65 meter) two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Falcon 9 is powered by liquid oxygen (LOX) and rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1).
The launch team is not working any technical issues at this time.
Crew Dragon hatch closed for launch
Crew Dragon’s Endeavour hatch has been closed and latched for flight, the four astronauts are strapped into their seats and preparations are progressing smoothly for this morning’s Falcon 9 launch attempt from Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center – the second operational mission to the International Space Station in the Commercial Crew Program.
SpaceX’s black-clad close-out crew are about 16 minutes ahead of schedule for their launch prep work.
Crew-2 mission commander Shane Kimbrough and pilot Megan McArthur have completed air-to-ground communications checks to ensure that the four astronauts can talk to flight controllers and each other during the spacecraft’s ascent to orbit. Suit leak checks have also been completed.
Launch is scheduled for 5:49 AM EDT (0949 GMT). The launch team is not tracking any technical issues; launch weather forecast remains favorable, with a 90 percent probability of acceptable conditions at launch time.
All 4 Crew-2 astronauts aboard Crew Dragon Endeavour
All four Crew-2 astronauts have boarded their SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour for today’s predawn launch to the International Space Station. You can see them in the NASA TV image above. From left, they are: ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
The astronauts have closed their SpaceX spacesuit helmets for leak checks and swiveled their seats upward into launch position for today’s launch at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT).
2 astronauts have boarded Crew Dragon
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Meghan McArthur are now inside the Crew Dragon. ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide will board next.
Astronauts arrive at the launch pad
The four Crew-2 astronauts have arrived at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they will lift off less than three hours from now. In about 15 minutes the astronauts will begin to board the Crew Dragon Endeavour.
Crew-2 astronauts are almost done suiting up
NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet are just about finished getting into their SpaceX spacesuits (opens in new tab) ahead of their flight.
The crew is scheduled to leave the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at 2:29 a.m. EDT (0629 GMT) and board their Tesla Model X (opens in new tab) vehicles, in which they will be driven to Launch Complex 39A.
They are scheduled to arrive at the launch site at 2:54 a.m. EDT (0654 GMT).
NASA’s Crew-2 launch webcast is live now!
NASA’s live broadcast of the SpaceX Crew-2 launch to the International Space Station has begun! We are just over four hours away from liftoff, which is scheduled for 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT).
SpaceX launch may be visible from the US East Coast
SpaceX’s Crew-2 astronaut launch will liftoff from Florida’s Space Coast before sunrise on Friday, April 23, and there’s a chance for observers along the U.S. East Coast to see the rocket’s ascent into orbit.
According to Space.com columnist Joe Rao, skywatchers with clear skies have a chance to see the second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket as it streaks toward space. Exactly when the Falcon 9 will be visible, and for how long, depends on your location along the East Coast.
SpaceX ready for Crew-2 launch
SpaceX is less than a day away from launching the Crew-2 astronauts to the International Space Station.
As with every SpaceX launch for NASA, you’ll be able to watch the mission live online. NASA’s webcast will begin at 1:30 a.m. EDT (0630 GMT) and then run continuously through docking at the space station on Saturday.
Here’s our full preview for Friday’s launch from contributor Amy Thompson in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Crew-2 Launch Delayed
NASA and SpaceX have delayed the launch of the Crew-2 astronaut mission to the International Space Station to no earlier than Friday, April 23 due to bad weather downrange. Liftoff is now set for 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT).
“Although conditions around the launch site were expected to be favorable for liftoff, mission teams also must consider conditions along the flight path and recovery area in the unlikely event of a launch escape,” NASA officials said in a statement today.
Crew-2 astronauts arrive at launch site
The four astronauts of NASA’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station have arrived at their Kennedy Space Center launch site for an April 22 launch on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Endeavour and Falcon 9 rocket.
The crew, NASA astronauts Shanek Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet, arrived at KSC’s Launch and Landing Facility (a former Shuttle Landing Facility). They are scheduled to launch on April 22 at 6:11 a.m. EDT (1011 GMT).
Today (April 17), the Crew-2 astronauts will hold a virtual press conference at 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345 GMT). You can watch it live on this page and here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
One week to launch for SpaceX’s Crew-2
SpaceX is one week away from launching four astronauts into space for NASA to begin a months-long trek to the International Space Station.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the astronauts on the Crew-2 mission for NASA on Thursday, April 22. Liftoff is set for 6:11 a.m. EDT (1011 GMT). The space agency will hold a Flight Readiness Review briefing today, April 15, at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT) to discuss the mission. You can watch that live here and follow along at the top of this page.
The Crew-2 mission will launch from NASA’s historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon Endeavour, which launched SpaceX’s first crewed flight for NASA (called Demo-2) in May 2020, will launch the mission.
Crew-2 will launch a four-person crew: NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet. The four space travelers will join seven others aboard the station when they arrive at the station on April 23. Four of those crewmates launched on SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission and will return to Earth on April 28. The other three arrived earlier this month on a Russian Soyuz to begin their own extended stay.
— Tariq Malik