SpaceX plans to launch the first operational flight of its Crew Dragon astronaut taxi to the International Space Station on Nov. 15. Called Crew-1, this will be the second Crew Dragon mission to carry astronauts. NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, will lift off from the historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:27p.m. EST (0027 GMT) to begin a six-month mission.
Space.com will bring you all the latest updates on the Crew-1 mission here.
SpaceX, NASA target Nov. 14 for Crew-1 launch
SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station is now scheduled to launch on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 GMT on Nov. 15), NASA announced Monday (Oct. 26).
Originally scheduled to launch Aug. 30, Crew-1 has faced numerous delays in getting off the ground. NASA first pushed the mission to late September, then to Oct. 23, then to Oct. 31 and finally to early to mid-November, citing logistical and technical issues. The newly announced target date firms up that latter timeline.
NASA also announced that it will hold a news conference on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) “to discuss the upcoming launch, including results from recent testing of the Falcon 9 Merlin engines following unexpected data SpaceX noted during a recent non-NASA launch,” the agency said in a statement. You can watch it live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly via the agency’s website.
Crew-1 astronauts arrive at launch site
The four-astronaut crew of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission for NASA have arrived at their Kennedy Space Center launch site for their planned Nov. 14 launch to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi touched down at the Shuttle landing Facility at KSC to prepare for their upcoming launch from the Cape Canaveral, Florida spaceport. Liftoff is set for 7:49 p.m. EST (2249 GMT) on Saturday.
Hopkins will command the Crew-1 mission, which will launch to the station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. The Crew-1 astronauts have named their spacecraft Resilience for the flight.
“On behalf of the crew of Resilience, on behalf of our families, we want to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of the people at SpaceX, at NASA, and in the (Department of Defense) who have been working tirelessly to get us to this point. It’s really been an incredible effort by an incredible group of people,” Hopkins said in a statement. “As for the crew: we’re ready.”
On Monday (Nov. 9), NASA and SpaceX mission managers will hold a Flight Readiness Review meeting at the Kennedy Space Center to ensure all is ready for the upcoming flight. NASA will hold a press conference one hour after the meeting concludes to update the public on the launch.
NASA, SpaceX review Crew-1 flight readiness
NASA and SpaceX mission managers are holding a day-long Flight Readiness Review today (Nov. 9) to decide of SpaceX’s next Crew Dragon to carry astronauts is ready to fly.
The review is going on at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is gearing up to launch the Crew-1 mission to the space station for NASA. “The review focuses on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the International Space Station, and its international partners to support the flight, and the certification of flight readiness,” NASA officials said in a statement.
NASA’s human spaceflight chief Kathy Lueders is leading today’s meeting. SpaceX’s vice president for build and flight reliability Hans Koenigsmann is the top SpaceX representative.
NASA will hold a press conference later today to discuss the results of today’s Flight Readiness Review. That event should begin one hour after the meeting’s conclusion.
The Crew-1 astronauts, meanwhile, will answer questions from the media at 1:15 p.m. EST (1815 GMT). You can watch that live here.
SpaceX Crew Dragon on the Launch Pad
The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft poised to launch four astronauts NASA’s Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station this week has reached its launch pad.
The Crew-1 spacecraft and its Falcon 9 rocket (also built by SpaceX) moved to NASA’s historic Launch Pad 39A on Monday night (Nov. 9) and are now in launch position for a planned static fire engine test expected for later today.
Meanwhile, NASA and SpaceX officials have completed their review of the Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket for this launch and will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. EST (1930 GMT) to discuss their plans. You can watch that live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA.
With Falcon 9 static fire complete, Crew-1 astronauts prepare for launch
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Crew-1 mission conducted a static fire test yesterday (Nov. 11). During the test, the rocket briefly fired its engines while tied down, as a measure to ensure that the vehicle will perform properly during the launch on Saturday (Nov. 14).
With that milestone completed, the four astronauts on the Crew-1 mission are spending today (Nov. 12) conducting a dress rehearsal for launch. The crew and the NASA and SpaceX personnel supporting the mission will go through each step of the launch process — minus blast-off itself — to make sure the big day goes smoothly.
T-1 Day to Launch: Elon Musk tests positive for COVID-19
With SpaceX and NASA now one day away from launching four astronauts to the International Space Station on the Crew-1 mission, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that he has received two positive tests for COVID-19 and two negative ones in a recent screening.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said today that he does not currently expect Musk’s news to affect the Crew-1 launch on Saturday (Nov. 14). It is unclear if Musk is in Florida for the launch or at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
“We’re looking for SpaceX to do any contact tracing that is appropriate,” Bridenstine told reporters in a briefing today at NASA’s countdown clock at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Something extremely bogus is going on. Was tested for covid four times today. Two tests came back negative, two came back positive. Same machine, same test, same nurse. Rapid antigen test from BD.November 13, 2020
SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission is set to launch four astronauts to the space station at 7:49 p.m. EST (0049 Nov. 15 GMT) from Pad 39A at KSC. It is the first operational crew mission for NASA by SpaceX after the company’s historic first crewed test flight, Demo-2, this summer. There is a 70% chance of good launch weather for the mission.
The Crew-1 mission will launch NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soicho Noguchi on a six-month mission to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
On Thursday, the Crew-1 astronauts conducted a dress rehearsal of their launch. They donned their sleek SpaceX-issue spacesuits and rode out to Pad 39A in a caravan of white Tesla vehicles. They also entered their Crew Dragon spacecraft (which the astronauts have dubbed “Resilience”) to practice launch operations.
Later today, NASA and SpaceX will hold a Launch Readiness Review meeting to make one last check that the Crew-1 mission is ready to fly. A NASA press conference will follow once that meeting is complete. NASA has not yet released a time for the briefing, but it will be webcast live and you can watch it here at start time.
Set to speak in that briefing are:
Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
Kirt Costello, chief scientist, International Space Station Program, Johnson
Norm Knight, deputy manager, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson
Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
Arlena Moses, launch weather officer, U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron
LAUNCH DELAY: Liftoff now set for Sunday, Nov. 15
SpaceX has postponed the Crew-1 astronaut launch for NASA until no earlier than Sunday, Nov. 15, due to unacceptable onshore winds and impacts to Falcon 9 rocket recovery operations at landing.
Liftoff is now set for no earlier than Sunday, Nov. 15 at 7:27 p.m. EST (0027 GMT).
One Day to Launch
NASA and SpaceX are one day away from launching the Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station and the four-astronaut team is ready to fly.
Read our full Crew-1 overview here to for a brief introduction to mission commander Mike Hopkins and crewmates Victor Glover, Shannon Walker (all of NASA) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Join us on Sunday at 3:15 p.m. EST (1915 GMT) for complete coverage for SpaceX’s countdown and launch of the Crew-1 Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon mission.
Launch Day Begins!
It’s launch day for SpaceX’s Crew-1 astronaut launch for NASA and the four astronauts to ride the Crew Dragon Resilience to the International Space Station are ready for their flight. A SpaceX Falcon rocket will launch the mission at 7:27 p.m. EDT (0027 Nov. 16 GMT) from Pad 39A of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The weather forecast currently offers a 50% chance of good conditions at launch.
You’ll be able to watch the launch live on this page beginning at 3:15 p.m. EDT (1919 GMT). Crew-1 is commanded by NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins, with fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover as pilot. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi round out the crew.
Today’s mission is SpaceX’s first operational crew flight for NASA under the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program and follows SpaceX’s successful crewed test flight, Demo-2, which launched two astronauts to the station in May.
Space.com contributor Robert Pearlman, editor of collectSPACE, has a rundown of the many firsts the Crew-1 mission is setting on this flight.
Here’s the schedule for the Crew-1 astronauts today:
Time (EST): Event
6:57:15 AM: Crew Wake
1:57:15 PM: CE Launch Readiness Briefing
2:27:15 PM: Launch Shift On Console
2:27:16 PM: Dragon IMU align and Configure for launch
2:57:15 PM: Dragon prop pressurization
3:12:15 PM: Crew weather brief
3:22:15 PM: Crew handoff
3:27:15 PM: Suit donning and checkout
4:05:15 PM: Crew walk out from Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building
4:12:15 PM: Crew Transportation to Launch Complex 39A
4:32:15 PM: Crew arrives at pad
4:52:15 PM: Crew ingress
5:07:15 PM: Communication check
5:12:15 PM: Verify ready for seat rotation
5:13:15 PM: Suit leak checks
5:32:15 PM: Hatch close
6:17:15 PM: ISS state upload to Dragon
6:42:15 PM: SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
6:45:15 PM: Crew access arm retracts
6:49:15 PM: Dragon launch escape system is armed
6:52:15 PM: RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins/1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
7:11:15 PM: 2nd stage LOX loading begins
7:20:15 PM: Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
7:22:15 PM: Dragon transitions to internal power
7:26:15 PM: Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
7:26:30 PM: SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
7:27:12 PM: Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
7:27:15 PM: Liftoff
7:29:13 PM: Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
7:29:52 PM: 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
7:29:55 PM: 1st and 2nd stages separate
7:30:03 PM: 2nd stage engine starts
7:34:44 PM: 1st stage entry burn
7:36:05 PM: 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
7:36:44 PM: 1st stage landing
7:39:18 PM: Crew Dragon separates from 2nd stage
7:40:03 PM: Dragon nosecone open sequence begins
Astronauts donning spacesuits
Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi are now donning their custom-made spacesuits in the Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. They have just received a weather briefing
The stylized SpaceX spacesuits are designed to be functional, lightweight, and to offer protection from potential depressurization during ascent and orbital operations. The flight helmets are custom manufactured using 3D printing technology. Spacesuit gloves are designed to be compatible with Crew Dragon’s touchscreen controls.
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:15 p.m. EST (0027:15 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A. Weather forecasts remain optimistic, with a 50% chance of favorable conditions at launch time.
Astronauts departing for launch pad
Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Vic Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, sporting their custom-made SpaceX spacesuits, are walking out of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to begin their trip to Launch Complex 39A.
The Crew-1 astronauts briefly met with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX CEO Gwynne Shotwell before departing; the pair took ‘selfies’ (from a safe distance) with the crew.
The astronauts will ride in a pair of NASA logo-emblazoned Tesla Model X electric-powered SUVs during their 9-mile (14 km) drive to the launch pad where their Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft are being readied for launch. A convoy of three Teslas will drive to the launch pad; the astronauts will be riding in the 2nd and 3rd vehicles.
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:15 p.m. EST (0027:15 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.
The launch team is not working any technical issues at this time; the official weather forecast calls for a 50 percent probability of acceptable conditions at launch time. Winds and seas offshore are within limits; however, forecasters are concerned about showers moving in near launch time.
Crew-1 astronauts arrive at launch pad
Astronauts Mike Hopkins, Vic Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi have arrived at Launch Complex 39A where their SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is being readied for launch.
The three spaceflight veterans (Hopkins, Walker and Noguchi) and one rookie (Glover) will ride an elevator up to the 255-foot level of the launch tower, walk across the glass-enclosed access arm, and enter the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:15 p.m. EST (0027:15 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.
No technical issues are being worked at this time; weather remains marginal, with a 50/50 chance of acceptable conditions for launch.
What were the astronauts listening to on the short drive to the Pad 39A? Glad you asked, here’s NASA and SpaceX’s final countdown playlist for Crew-1:
Astronauts entering Crew Dragon
The Crew-1 astronauts have begun entering their Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft.
NASA Crew-1 mission commander Mike Hopkins – call sign ‘Hopper’ – has assumed his position aboard Crew Dragon. Hopkins is the commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to reentry. He’ll also serve as an Expedition 64 Flight Engineer once aboard the ISS. A veteran of the Expedition 37/38 crew in 2013/14, Hopper logged 166 days in space and conducted two spacewalks. Hopkins is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
NASA Crew-1 pilot Victor Glover – call sign ‘Ike’ – will settle into his form-fitting seat, alongside mission commander Mike Hopkins. A spaceflight rookie, Glover is second in command for the mission, responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. A U.S. Navy Commander, he will also be a long duration space station crew member.
NASA mission specialist Dr. Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi will be seated behind the commander and pilot, offset to the left and right.
Mission specialist Walker will work closely with the commander and the pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and reentry phases of flight. Once onboard the space station, Walker will become a flight engineer for Expedition 64. Dr. Walker launched to the ISS in 2010 aboard the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft as the copilot and spent 161 days aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Mission specialist Noguchi will closely watch timelines, telemetry and consumables during launch and reentry. Noguchi will also become a long duration crew member aboard the space station. A veteran of two spaceflights, STS-115 in 2005 and Soyuz TMA-17 in 2009, Noguchi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside of the space station. Crew Dragon will be the third type of spacecraft that Noguchi has flown to the orbiting laboratory, joining very select company – spaceflight legends Wally Schirra (Mercury, Gemini, Apollo) and John Young (Gemini, Apollo, Shuttle).
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:15 p.m. EST (0027:15 GMT). No technical issues are being worked at this time.
Astronauts strapped-in for liftoff
The four Crew-1 astronauts – Mike ‘Hopper’ Hopkins, Victor ‘Ike’ Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi – are now strapped into their form-fitting car racing seats on Crew Dragon “Resilience.”
The astronauts have started a series of communications checks between the spacecraft, the launch team and Mission Control. Their seats will soon be rotated into their launch position and their spacesuits are being checked for leaks.
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:17 p.m. EST (0027:17 GMT). No technical issues are being worked at this time, the Eastern Range is ‘Green’ but weather remains questionable with a 50 percent probability of acceptable conditions for launch.
Crew Dragon hatch closed for launch
Crew Dragon’s hatch has been closed and latched for flight, the four astronauts are strapped into their seats and preparations are progressing smoothly for this evening’s Falcon 9 launch attempt from Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center – the first operational mission to the International Space Station in the Commercial Crew Program.
Crew-1 mission commander Mike Hopkins and pilot Vic Glover 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 7:27:17 p.m. EST (0027:17 GMT). The launch team is not tracking any technical issues; launch weather forecast remains marginal, with a 50 percent probability of acceptable conditions at launch time.
Crew Dragon hatch being reopened
The close-out crew has reopened Crew Dragon’s hatch to investigate a pressure drop during a leak check after the hatch was initially closed.
Crew Dragon hatch closed again for launch
The close-out crew reports that they may have identified the ‘root cause’ of the hatch leak. Crew Dragon’s hatch has been closed again and the cabin leak checks will resume.
Countdown proceeding smoothly; weather forecast improves
The countdown is proceeding smoothly for this evening’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Liftoff is scheduled for 7:27:17 p.m. EST (00:27:17 GMT).
The spacecraft hatch has been re-sealed after technicians removed a piece of FOD (foreign object debris) that was causing a small leak; that issue has been resolved and the hatch has passed the leak check. Communication checks between the launch team, flight controllers and the spacecraft have been completed.
The launch team is carefully reviewing weather data to decide if fueling operations can commence. If weather continues to trend positive, the SpaceX launch director should 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). Fueling of the Falcon 9 is scheduled to begin at 6:52 p.m. EST (2352 GMT).
The launch team is not working any technical issues at this time. Weather forecasts are trending optimistic – a frontal boundary that concerned forecasters may not reach the Kennedy Space Center by launch time.
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). Fueling of the Falcon 9 is scheduled to begin at 6:52 p.m. EST (2352 GMT).
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.
Vice President Mike Pence has just landed at the Kennedy Space Center to witness tonight’s historic launch attempt.
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; there is much optimism that conditions will remain acceptable for a launch attempt tonight.
Launch is scheduled for 7:27:17 p.m. EST (0027:17 GMT).
Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon: T-minus 10 minutes and counting
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft, has been cleared for launch at 7:27:17 p.m. EST (0027:17 GMT). Weather conditions have markedly to permit a launch attempt tonight.
The mission management team has been polled and all have reported ‘Go for launch.’ The three veteran astronauts and one spaceflight rookie 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 & Crew Dragon: T-minus 5 minutes and counting
The Crew Dragon spacecraft has transitioned to internal power for tonight’s launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27:17 p.m. EST (0027:17 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-1 mission commander Mike Hopkins and pilot Vic Glover are conducting final launch preparations, assisted by mission specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi.
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