. 24/7 Space News .
NASA certifies SpaceX to carry humans, OKs space station mission
by Paul Brinkmann
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 10, 2020

SpaceX ready to take four astronauts to ISS Saturday
Washington (AFP) Nov 10, 2020 - Three NASA crew and one Japanese astronaut are set for launch aboard a SpaceX rocket Saturday, bound for the International Space Station in the program's first six-month routine mission since the United States resumed crewed space flight in May after nine years of reliance on Russia.

NASA on Tuesday officially certified as safe the Crew Dragon capsule developed for regular astronaut transportation by SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk that carried two astronauts to the ISS in May and back to Earth again in August without major incident.

"I'm extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft," NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

Take-off is planned for 7:49 pm Saturday (0049 GMT Sunday) from Kennedy Space Center in Florida with American astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi on board.

As of Tuesday evening, the weather outlook for Saturday was good.

They are expected to arrive at the ISS eight hours later, at 0920 GMT Sunday.

The mission marks a culmination for SpaceX, setting it up to be NASA's favored -- and so far most reliable -- transportation provider as the agency waits on Boeing's Starliner capsule, which has been held up in testing and is not expected to be ready before next year.

SpaceX has been operating space station re-supplying flights with the cargo version of the Dragon since 2012.

"For the next 15 months, we will fly seven crew and cargo Dragon missions for NASA," SpaceX head of crewed flights Benji Reed said during a phone call Tuesday.

"That means that (from December) starting with Crew-1, there will be a continuous presence of SpaceX Dragons in orbit."

The next crewed mission is expected to blast off at the end of March 2021, carrying one European, one Japanese and two American crew members.

NASA certified SpaceX's spaceflight system Tuesday to carry astronauts to the International Space Station regularly, clearing the way for a four-person mission there planned for Saturday.

Elon Musk's company plans to launch its Crew Dragon capsule, which its four passengers have called Resilience, aloft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This will mark the first time in the history of spaceflight that four people traveled into space in one capsule. The space shuttles typically carried seven-member crews.

"We are honored to be the nation's launch provider for crewed missions and take seriously the responsibility that NASA has entrusted to us to carry American astronauts to and from the space station," Benji Reed, SpaceX's senior director of human spaceflight, said at a press conference.

Liftoff for the newest crewed mission is planned for 7:49 p.m. EST, barring any interference by the weather. Forecasters are keeping an eye on Tropical Storm Eta, which at one point appeared headed across Florida north of the space center.

It now is following a more northerly track in the Gulf of Mexico, and is projected to make landfall in Florida's Panhandle early Saturday morning.

The launch is to mark the beginning of a six-month mission at the space station for NASA's Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, and Japan's Soichi Noguchi. This also would start a continuous presence of SpaceX's Dragon capsule -- either cargo or crew models -- at the space station, Reed said.

"Over the next 15 months, we will fly seven crew and cargo Dragon missions for NASA," he said.

Saturday's launch, called SpaceX Crew-1, marks the second time people will fly in the Dragon capsule and the first regular flight for the spacecraft. The initial crewed mission, considered a test flight, brought NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the space station for two months. They returned to Earth on Aug. 2.

The Dragon now assumes the same role the space shuttle filled for NASA -- to ferry astronauts to the space station.

"I'm extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said Tuesday.

"Thank you to NASA for their continued support of SpaceX and partnership in achieving this goal," SpaceX founder Musk said in a statement Tuesday.

"I could not be more proud of everyone at SpaceX and all of our suppliers, who worked incredibly hard to develop, test and fly the first commercial human spaceflight system in history to be certified by NASA."

NASA gave a green light for Saturday's mission after concluding the agency's routine Flight Readiness Review. Engineers and technicians for the space agency and SpaceX discussed, among other things, the recent launch abort of a Falcon 9 rocket on an uncrewed mission.

Inspections determined that a clogged venting hole in the engines had been blocked by lacquer that a contractor failed to completely remove following construction.

NASA postponed the Crew 1 mission partly to evaluate the problem with the clogged valve.

Related Links
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Astronauts arrive in Florida for historic launch Saturday
Washington DC (UPI) Nov 08, 2020
Four astronauts arrived in Florida on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the first launch of four people in a space capsule at week's end. SpaceX's Dragon space capsule, named Resilience, is expected to lift off at 7:49 p.m. Saturday from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The mission is important as the first routine flight of the Dragon to the International Space Station under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, the agency's Administrator Jim Bridenstine said. That means E ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

New NASA Partnerships to Mature Commercial Space Technologies, Capabilities

Chinese vision of 'community of shared future for mankind' included in UN outer space resolution again

Air leaking crack in ISS Russian module might get repaired in December

Astronauts prepare for most crowded space station in years

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Touch Down at Florida Spaceport

Astronauts arrive in Florida for historic launch Saturday

Long March 6 deploys 10 Argentine satellites

PSLV launches EOS-01 and nine customer satellites from Sriharikota

Clay subsoil at Earth's driest place may signal life on Mars

Water on ancient Mars

Geologists simulate soil conditions to help grow plants on Mars

NASA's Perseverance Rover Is Midway to Mars

China Focus: 18 reserve astronauts selected for China's manned space program

State-owned space giant prepares for giant step in space

China's Xichang launch center to carry out 10 missions by end of March

Eighteen new astronauts chosen for China's space station mission

Successful launch of Kleos Space Scouting Mission satellites into 37 degree Inclined Orbit

Lacuna Space continues to grow IoT constellation with an equatorial satellite

Lift-off for new generation of space scientists

Marking five years of Hungary in ESA

Optimizing the design of new materials

Exceptional ground and flight demonstrations lead way to further applicability across programs

Monitoring open-cast mines better than before

3D print experts discover how to make tomorrow's technology using ink-jet printed graphene

Maunakea telescopes confirm first brown dwarf discovered by radio observations

Water may be naturally occurring on all rocky planets

NYUAD study finds stellar flares can lead to the diminishment of a planet's habitability

Stars and planets grow up together as siblings

Radiation Does a Bright Number on Jupiter's Moon

New plans afoot beyond Pluto

Where were Jupiter and Saturn born?

NASA's Webb To Examine Objects in the Graveyard of the Solar System

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.