Image Credits: NASA
Elon Musk-led SpaceX is set to launch its third crewed mission to the International Space Station (ISS) early Friday, after losing a day to bad weather. The mission is set to ferry two astronauts from NASA, one from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and another one from European Space Agency (ESA) to ISS. Marking a first, the mission would reuse a rocket and crew capsule for transporting humans.
It seems the weather is cooperating, so looks like we will try to launch tomorrow!!! Our friends on the @Space_Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late. They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed 🛏. Such nice hosts! 🙏 #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/52X2bhPoTX— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) April 22, 2021
The mission dubbed Crew-2 marks the second operational mission under its Commercial Crew Programme which was launched with an aim to end the US’ decade-long dependence on Russian rockets. The first mission flew in May 2020 and carried Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.
NASA’s live coverage of the mission will begin hours before liftoff, at 1:30 am ET Friday. Meanwhile, the liftoff is scheduled at 5:49AM ET. The trek to the International Space Station will take a little less than a day- the crew is scheduled to dock with the space station at around 5:10 am ET on April 24 and scheduled to spend six months on the station.
"NASA will provide updated coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. The launch now is targeted for 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, due to unfavorable weather conditions forecast along the flight path for Thursday."
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are set to be launched from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida and then dock on the ISS port. This will be Crew Dragon's second flight since last year when it had carried NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to and from the space station for the Demo-2 test flight. The mission, called Crew-2, involves US astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s Akihiko Hoshide, and the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Thomas Pesquet, who is French.
SpaceX Crew 2 astronauts have already begun to quarantine themselves to take utmost precautions while they are still on land. Now, if everything goes as planned, the rocket will drop the SpaceX Crew 2 astronauts at the International Space Station within 23 hours.
Image Credits: NASA