Resilience at the Kennedy Space Center. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Your guide to NASA’s Crew-1 Mission

Only in a matter of days, SpaceX and NASA’s Crew-1 will blast off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida onboard Dragon Spacecraft named “Resilience “on Falcon-9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). This will mark the first operational mission of Dragon spacecraft, following the success of the Crew Demo-2 test flight last May 2020 carrying astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station and back, and bringing launching services of crewed missions back to the United States after 9 years!

The Resilience will be commanded by Astronaut Michael Hopkins, who has previously flown in 2013’s Expedition 65 aboard Russian Soyuz Spacecraft. His pilot will be Victor Glover, a US Navy Commander who is set to make the record of being the longest African-American in Space. Sharon Walker, American Physicist will aid as Mission Specialist, further assisted by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Astronaut Soiche Noguchi, a veteran of two spaceflights in 2003 and 2009.

The crew arrived at the Kennedy Space Centre on Sunday, 8th November 2020, where they were greeted by NASA’S administrator, Jim Bridenstine, Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard, Center Director Bob Cabana, and manager of JAXA’s International Space Station program, Junichi Sakai. The astronauts have been kept in quarantine till the day of launch to ensure that they travel virus-free en route to the ISS.

SpaceX Crew-1 portrait
NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Mike Hopkins, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – who constitute the crew of NASA’s Crew-1 mission – inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft. Credits: SpaceX

Following the lift-off at 7:49 pm EST on Sunday, November 14, 2020, Dragon will commence docking sequence with ISS on November 15, 2020, followed by the opening of the hatch on the same day. Press Conference with the current astronauts aboard ISS- Kate Rubins of NASA, Sergey Ryzhikov and
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos- has been arranged on November 16, 2020.

This six-months long science mission has been delayed considerable times since September 2020 due to faults occurring in the schedule of Crew rotations and Cargo supply mission’s alignment, and the concerns raised by the technicians on the issues of Resilience’s engines.

Dragon is expected to ‘splash down’ back on Earth in the early summers of 2021. The conclusion of this mission will pave its way for the lift-off of Crew-2 members which is slated for May 2021.

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