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
LIFTOFF! Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon heading for orbit
The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ spacecraft has lifted off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A.
NASA Crew-1 commander Mike Hopkins and pilot Vic Glover are reporting that the launch vehicle and spacecraft are performing nominally as they commence the 12-minute climb to orbit.
Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ safely in orbit
Following a spectacular nighttime launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, Crew Dragon ‘Resilience’ and its crew of four astronauts are safely in orbit.
Crew Dragon has separated from the Falcon’s second stage, nosecone deploy is complete and the spacecraft is beginning its 27-hour approach to the International Space Station. Docking with the ISS is scheduled at approx. 11 PM EST on Monday, November 16th (0400 GMT 17 November).
The Falcon 9’s first stage successfully reentered and touched on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instructions” drone recovery ship stationed offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.
Crew-1 Astronauts Settle Into Orbit
The Crew-1 astronauts have been given the go to get out of their SpaceX spacesuits and settle in aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience. They are also expected to break for for their midday meal soon.
"Well done, that was one heck of a ride. There was a lot of smiles," Crew-1 commander Mike Hopkins radioed to SpaceX flight controllers. "Making history is definitely hard and you guys all made it look easy. Congratulations to everyone. Resilience is in orbit."
Hopkins and the Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to go to sleep at 5:25 a.m. (1025 GMT) on Monday morning to get eight hours of rest for their docking day. They should arrive at the space station on Monday night at about 11 p.m. EST (0400 Nov. 17 GMT).
Trump and Biden Hail SpaceX Launch
President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden have both issued statements via Twitter on today's successful Crew-1 astronaut launch by SpaceX.
Trump said the launch was great, but said NASA was "a closed up disaster" when his administration took charge, and that under his leadership NASA is now the most advanced space center in the world. NASA was not closed up when the Trump administration began in 2017. NASA's Commercial Crew Program that led to today's launch was begun under the Obama administration in 2010.
A great launch! @NASA was a closed up disaster when we took over. Now it is again the “hottest”, most advanced, space center in the world, by far! https://t.co/CDCGdO74YbNovember 16, 2020
Biden, meanwhile, showered NASA and SpaceX with more traditional praise.
Congratulations to NASA and SpaceX on today's launch. It’s a testament to the power of science and what we can accomplish by harnessing our innovation, ingenuity, and determination. I join all Americans and the people of Japan in wishing the astronauts Godspeed on their journey.November 16, 2020
SpaceX Troubleshooting Heater Issue on Crew Dragon
SpaceX is troubleshooting an issue with some heaters for fuel lines on the Crew-1 Dragon Resilience.
Flight controllers informed the Crew-1 astronauts that the three of four propellant line heaters were showing "high resistance" and marked as disabled in one part of the spacecraft's thruster system. Flight rules require two working heaters during the mission.
The propellant line heaters are designed to keep the fuel lines above a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, the temperatures are holding steady at 75 F, SpaceX flight controllers said.
SpaceX engineers are going through a series of tasks to reenable the affected thrusters. The Crew-1 spacecraft's upcoming pass over a ground station will enable more telemetry that could help that effort.
Baby Yoda Is On SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon!
It's official: Baby Yoda is in space.
Last week, the Crew-1 astronauts on the Crew Dragon Resilience told reporters that they had picked a "zero gravity indicator" and that it would be pretty obvious what it was when the public saw it. But they weren't spilling the beans then on what the indicator, typically a toy that acts as a visual cue to show when the crew is experiencing weightlessness.
But late tonight, cameras inside the Resilience spacecraft were switched on and there it was: The Child, AKA Baby Yoda, from the science fiction TV series "The Mandalorian."
The Child is a baby Yoda-type creature from the "Star Wars" universe that made its first appearance last year in the first season of "The Mandalorian," a live-action "Star Wars" TV series on the streaming service Disney Plus. The character went viral in late 2019, particularly because its existence was kept secret until "The Mandalorian" debuted.
Season 2 of "The Mandalorian" debuted last month, with the titular Mandalorian bounty hunter on a quest to return The Child (as it is called on the show) to its people.
SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts: Video Vignettes
The four Crew-1 astronauts are currently sleeping on their SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience and are due to awake at 12:10 p.m. EST (1710 GMT) after a nice 8 hours of sleep.
Here's a look at the Crew-1 astronauts in video form while we await their start of Flight Day 2 in orbit and docking at the International Space Station, which is scheduled for 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT).
Commander Mike Hopkins (NASA)
Pilot Victor Glover
Mission Specialist 1 Soichi Noguchi (JAXA)
Mission Specialist 2 Shannon Walker (NASA)
Crew-1 Astronauts Prepare for Docking Day
The Crew-1 astronauts are working through their first full day in space as they prepare to dock at the International Space station later tonight.
Crew-1 commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi are expected to arrive at the space station at about 11 p.m. EST (0400 Nov. 17 GMT). Their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, called Resilience, will dock itself at a forward-facing port on the station's Harmony module.
Crew-1 Shares View of Earth from Crew Dragon
The Crew-1 astronauts are beaming a stunning view of Earth from space through one of the Crew Dragon windows.
"I wish you all could be up here with us, but rest assured you're up here with us in spirit," NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins radioed SpaceX's flight controllers.
A televised event is scheduled for 4:48 pm ET/1:48 p.m. PT/2148 GMT on NASA TV.
Space Station Spots Crew-1 Dragon
Cameras have spotted the Crew 1 Crew Dragon from a distance of 200 kilometers ahead of tonight's docking.
"Can they see us waving?" asked Crew-1 commander Mike Hopkins of the station astronauts.
Here's a Tour of SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon (Baby Yoda, included)
The Crew-1 astronauts just beamed a short tour of their Crew Dragon home in space, and yes there's lots of Baby Yoda.
Crew-1 commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover and mission specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi gave a brief glimpse of what life is like inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Photobombing the event was the crew's "zero-g indicator," a small plush toy of The Child from the "Star Wars" TV series "The Mandalorian," which bobbed into view several times in the tour.
Walker also gave viewers a look at how astronauts spin their water bottles to drink in space, while Noguchi offered a glimpse and the spacecraft's storage area beneath its seats.
SpaceX Crew Dragon on Final Approach to ISS
After a 27-hour chase, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft is closing in on the International Space Station. The spacecraft is expected to dock itself on the forward end of the station's Harmony module.
A short time ago, SpaceX and NASA gave Crew Dragon the "GO" for docking.
The Crew-1 Dragon is currently 15 meters away and three minutes from docking.
SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon Resilience has successfully docked with the International Space Station.
The spacecraft made a "soft capture" docking at 11:01 p.m. EST (0401 GMT), parking itself at the station's forward-facing port on the U.S. Harmony connecting node. The spacecraft will slow pull itself into a hard capture position to secure itself to the space station and ensure airtight seals between the two spacecraft.
At the time of docking, Resilience and the space station were flying 262 miles above Idaho, NASA says.
Tonight's docking marks SpaceX's first operational crew taxi flight to the space station for NASA.
Read our full story on the historic docking here from Associate Editor Hanneke Weitering.
Crew-1 Press Conference today!
The astronauts of SpaceX's Crew-1 mission for NASA will hold a press conference from the International Space Station today (Nov. 19) and you can watch it live in the window at the top of this page. It will begin at 9:55 a.m. EST (1455 GMT).
The Crew-1 astronauts launched to the space station Sunday (Nov. 15) and arrived at the orbiting lab 27 hours later on Monday to begin a six-month mission to the orbiting lab. Their mission is SpaceX's first operational crewed flight for NASA using the company's Falcon 9 rockets and Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The Crew-1 mission is commanded by NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins with fellow NASA astronaut Victor Glover as pilot. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi serve as mission specialists.
Undocking Day for Crew-1 astronauts
After six months in space, it's time for the Crew-1 astronauts to come home and that will start with undocking from the International Space Station tonight at 8:35 p.m. EDT (0035 GMT). You can watch SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon undocking here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. NASA's livestream will begin at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT).
The Crew-1 Dragon Resilience will return to Earth on Sunday, May 2, with a splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida at 2:57 a.m. EDT (0657 GMT).
The space capsule will return NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Sochi Noguchi to Earth. They launched to the station Nov. 15.
Hatches Closed between Dragon, ISS
Here's our first look of the day inside Crew Dragon Resilience. Shannon Walker and @Astro_Soichi have suited up. @Astro_illini and @AstroVicGlover will now suit up following hatch closure, which occurred at 6:26pm ET (22:26 UTC). pic.twitter.com/9tVaNW4VVuMay 1, 2021
Everything is proceeding well for tonight's SpaceX Crew-1 undocking at the International Space Station. The hatches between Crew Dragon Resilience and the station's space-facing docking port on the Harmony module were closed at 6:26 p.m. EDT (2226 GMT).
Resilience is scheduled to undock from the space station at 8:35 p.m. EDT (0035 GMT). NASA's live undocking webcast will begin at 8:15 p.m. EDT (0015 GMT) to set the stage for a 2:57 a.m. EDT (0657 GMT).
You can watch SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon undocking here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV.
Crew-1 Dragon undocks from space station
SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon has undocked from the International Space Station's Harmony module.
Undocking occurred on time at 8:35 p.m. EDT (0035 GMT) as the Crew Dragon Resilience station sailed 260 miles above Mali, Africa.
The four Crew-1 astronauts have taken off their SpaceX spacesuits as they prepare for the six-hour cruise back to Earth. They will put those suits back on for the final reentry and splashdown phase at 2:57 a.m. EDT (0657 GMT).
Deorbit burn has begun
The Crew Dragon successfully jettisoned its trunk at 1:58 a.m. EDT (0558 GMT) and ignited its engines for a 16-minute deorbit burn at 2:03 a.m. EDT (0603 GMT).
In the image above, you can see the Crew Dragon and its trunk shortly after separation.
Deorbit burn complete
The 16-minute deorbit burn that put Crew Dragon on an Earthbound trajectory wrapped up at 2:19 a.m. EDT (0619 GMT).
About 12 minutes before splashdown, at 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 GMT), the Crew Dragon will begin its atmospheric reentry phase.
Crew-1 is still on track for an on-time splashdown south of Panama City, Florida, at 2:57 a.m. EDT (0657 GMT).
Dolphin greets SpaceX's recovery ship
SpaceX's GO Navigator recovery ship is ready to meet the Crew Dragon Resilience in the Gulf of Mexico — and so is this dolphin, apparently.
"This is a view from the Go navigator recovery ship and off to the left. That is indeed a dolphin who is checking out the operations as GO navigator begins to move into place," NASA spokesperson Leah Cheshier said during a live webcast of the Crew-1 mission's return.
The image shows Bill Spetch, manager of NASA's ISS Transportation Integration Office, and NASA astronaut Joe Acaba watch the dolphin swim along with the recovery ship as NASA and SpaceX teams prepare for the landing of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience.
Crew Dragon spotted from the space station
In this view, SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience is seen from the International Space Station at approximately 2:35 a.m. EDT (0635 GMT), shortly before entering Earth's atmosphere. The spacecraft is currently about 67 miles (108 kilometers) above the Earth.
Crew Dragon Resilience just entered an expected blackout period that will last 7.5 minutes. Atmospheric entry is scheduled to begin at 2:45 a.m. EDT (0645 GMT), and Crew Dragon will regain communications with mission control about five minutes later.
The capsule's drogue parachutes are expected to deploy at 2:52 a.m. EDT (0642 GMT), followed by the main parachute about one minute later. It will splash down south of Panama City, Florida, at 2:57 a.m. EDT (0657 GMT).
Drogue parachutes deployed
Two drogue parachutes have deployed and the four main parachutes will follow soon!
Main parachutes deployed
The main parachutes have successfully deployed, and splashdown is just minutes away!
Crew Dragon Resilience just splashed down right on time at 2:56 a.m. EDT (0656 GMT) south of Panama City, Florida. Recovery crews are now going to inspect the capsule before helping the four astronauts out.
Crew-1 astronauts are doing well
The Crew-1 astronauts are reportedly feeling well after their splashdown. Once on board the GO Navigator recovery ship, the four crewmembers will go through thorough medical checkouts.
Crew Dragon is out of the water
The capsule is now resting on SpaceX's recovery vessel GO Navigator, and soon recovery crews will begin helping the astronauts out of the capsule.
Mike Hopkins is out of the capsule
One astronaut out, three to go! NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins did a little happy dance after exiting the Crew Dragon.
One astronaut left inside Crew Dragon
NASA astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker have emerged from the Crew Dragon. JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi is coming out soon!
Crew-1 splashdown live coverage concludes
SpaceX and NASA have confirmed that all four crewmembers have now left the Crew Dragon capsule and are getting ready to board a helicopter to head back to shore.
NASA TV's live coverage of the Crew-1 mission's return has concluded, and a post-splashdown news conference is scheduled for 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT). Watch it live here, courtesy of NASA TV.
Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more!
Thank you for signing up to Space. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.