SpaceX, which was refueled for a flight to the International Space Station later this month, on Thursday moved the crew dragon “Resilience” spacecraft to a hangar near Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, to connect with its Falcon 9 launcher.
The merchant crew arrived at the hangar of the SpaceX near the southern limit of 39A on Thursday. Inside the building, SpaceX technicians will connect the crew dragon to a Falcon 9 rocket before rolling off the fully assembled launcher ramp to Pad 39A this weekend.
The Commercial Crew Capsule will be launched on November 14 at 7:49 pm EST (November 15, 0049 GMT) and will carry four astronauts. The mission, known as the Crew-1, is SpaceX ”s first crew spacecraft flight, following a 64 – day test flight to the space station earlier this year with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behenken.
Commander Mike Hopkins said the Crew-Dragon spacecraft for the Crew-1 mission was named “Resilience” and that “when we work together, everyone will be inspired by what is possible.”
“When you look at the definition of reorganization, it means doing well in stressful times or overcoming adversity, so we all agree that 2020 is indeed a challenging year – global epidemic, financial crisis, internal unrest, isolation – despite all of this, SpaceX (and) NASA production The line has been maintained and this stunning vehicle has been completed and is about to make its maiden flight to the International Space Station, ”Hopkins said.
“Our patch, on the border, has names, no flags, it’s by design, because that patch doesn’t really represent the four of us, but it does represent the countless people who have donated to prepare the vehicle and prepare us for this mission,” Hopkins told a news conference in September.
“The same theme applies to the name of this vehicle, Reliance. “We hope this puts a smile on your face. We hope it offers something positive in your life, and quite frankly, it’s an inspiration – it shows that there is no limit to what you can achieve when you work together. ”
In an interview with Spaceflight Now, Hopkins said he hopes the name Reliance will remain with the crew dragon spacecraft – also known as the SpaceX Dragon C207 – in future flights of the reusable capsule. Hurley and Benken chose the name Endeavor for the crew dragon spacecraft in their demonstration flight known as the Demo-2.
In the first half of 2021, the Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule will be refurbished for another flight to the Cru-2 mission space station. During its half-year orbit, the Crew-2 astronauts will replace the space station’s Crew-1.
Hopkins said the crew-2 astronauts did not intend to change their name to Crew Dragon Endowment.
“So (the name) is going to match that vehicle, and we expect the same,” Hopkins said. “Sometimes vehicles like ships are renamed when they are transferred from one owner to another, but especially in the case, it remains in the family, it stays with the company, so I would be surprised if it changes its name, but obviously people might decide that way. ”
Dragon’s Transfer to Hanger Signals Launch the Final Phase of the Launch Campaign
The crew was taken from the fuel station at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the Pad 39A via the Dragon Resilience Road. Before moving to the launch pad, the spacecraft was loaded with hypergolic hydrosine and tetroxide propellants for the capsule’s launch escape engines and orbital maneuvers.
The ship’s Falcon 9 launcher was already inside the hangar on the southern perimeter of the launch pad, the same beach complex where Apollo lunar missions and spacecraft departed from Earth.
Once the mechanical and electrical connection between the spacecraft and the rocket has been confirmed by SpaceXX technicians, the 215-foot (65m) vehicle will take off onto the Pad 39A, with the Fercon 9’s Merlin raising the vertical to test the main engines on Monday evening.
The Successful launch of another Falcon 9 rocket Thursday night was a major milestone in the crew-1 mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Falcon 9 successfully deploys a GPS navigation satellite for the US Space Force, confirmed by engineers A problem with the Merlin engines seems to have been solved That delayed the GPS mission and the crew-1 aircraft.
Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, mission specialist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center via NASA’s Gulfstream jet at 2pm on Sunday. (1900 GMT).
A flight readiness review called by top NASA officials will be scheduled for Monday to discuss unresolved technical issues, review the status of launch preparations, and formally authorize teams to proceed with the crew-1 mission.
Hopkins and Chromats will be wearing their SpaceX-made pressure suits on Wednesday for a “dry dress rehearsal” of launch day activities. Four astronauts will travel in two Tesla Model X vehicles from the crew quarters at the Kennedy Space Center to the Pad 39A, where they will board the Crew Dragon Resilience.
Once the rehearsal is complete, the crew members will exit the spacecraft and return to the crew quarters.
SpaceX Ex, another checkpoint for signing off officially at the crew-1 mission ‘s scheduled launch next Saturday, November 14th, is planning a launch readiness review on Thursday.
Assuming it launches on November 14 at 7:49 pm EST, the crew dragon resilience is scheduled to dock itself with the International Space Station eight and a half hours later. 4:20 a.m. EST (0920 GMT) Nov. 15.
A few hours after docking, Hopkins and his team open the hatch to join Russian Commander Sergei Rishikov, flight engineer Sergei Kudverkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins – raising the lab’s long-term crew to seven for the first time.
Although the Crew-1’s Demo-2 test flight proved that the capsule, built by SpaceX, could carry astronauts to and from the space station, Hopkins said the Crew-1 mission would have its own first.
“One of the differences between Demo 2 and our mission is that they were part of a further development and performance, and we are really functional,” Hopkins told Spaceflight in a pre-flight interview. “So we are going to bring the vehicle to its operating speed.
“I mean, we find out how four people are going to get in the vehicle during that flight-generated flight phase, but we’re bringing in more length and things of that nature,” Hopkins said. “So the first one was a test mission, but it tastes even better, because we’re four or more months ahead of Bob (Behenken) and Doug (Hurley). , So we are going to observe very closely how the vehicle handles the space environment for that time.
“In general, I think this is more of an operational checkout than a development test,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins, 51, is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, he served as a flight test engineer. In 2013 and 2014, the space station completed 166 days of exploration. The first operational crew dragon mission of 2018.
He added that the crew-1 flight plan did not include any manual piloting tests, such as the performances of Doug Hurley on the Demo-2 mission. If all goes according to plan, the crew will be connected to the space station in Dragon Resilience autopilot mode.
“We’m definitely trained in the manual piloting phase, but if there’s any kind of accident or any failures on board it will motivate us to go into manual piloting,” Hopkins said.
Email the author.
Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: Stephen Clark1.
Prone to fits of apathy. Unable to type with boxing gloves on. Internet advocate. Avid travel enthusiast. Entrepreneur. Music expert.