CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s newest astronaut mission for NASA has reached its vacation spot.
The Crew-5 mission launched yesterday (Oct. 5) from NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida, sending a Dragon capsule aloft atop a Falcon 9 rocket. That Dragon, named Endurance, caught up with the Worldwide House Station (ISS) right now (Oct. 6), after a 29-hour orbital chase.
Endurance made contact with the ahead port of the station’s Concord module at 5:01 p.m. EDT (2101 GMT), whereas the 2 spacecraft had been flying over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa. The docking operation was accomplished about 10 minutes later.
The hatches between Endurance and the ISS opened round 6:45 p.m. EDT (2245 GMT), and the Crew-5 astronauts — NASA’s Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan’s Koichi Wakata and cosmonaut Anna Kikina — floated aboard the orbiting lab about 10 minutes later. They’re going to dwell on the ISS for 5 months.
The brand new arrivals will say just a few phrases throughout a welcome ceremony, which is slated to happen at 8:05 p.m. EDT (0005 GMT on Oct. 7). You may watch it dwell right here at House.com.
Mann and Kikina have the consideration of carrying private mantles for this mission: Mann is the primary Native American girl in house, and Kikina is the primary cosmonaut to fly on a SpaceX Dragon. Each are spaceflight rookies, as is Cassada; Wakata has now been to house 5 instances.
The Dragon Endurance additionally ferried SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission to the ISS and again. SpaceX operates a fleet of 4 Crew Dragon capsules, that are refurbished and examined earlier than every reflight. Endurance flew with a mix of latest and beforehand flown elements, together with a brand new warmth defend, parachutes and nostril cone.
SpaceX can be well-known for flying used rockets, however the Crew-5 liftoff featured a Falcon 9 with a brand-new first stage. The booster, painted with NASA’s worm emblem, was shiny white, freed from the soot that is a well-recognized sight on the corporate’s reflown first levels.
“We do like getting the brand new boosters,” Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s industrial crew program, stated in a post-launch press convention yesterday.
“Each time SpaceX places a brand new booster within the fleet, they proceed to make … security enhancements to the boosters,” Stich defined. “We just like the reflown boosters, however … getting a brand new booster will get us some upgrades and a few security enhancements, which we recognize a large quantity.”
The Crew-5 astronauts are becoming a member of seven crewmates already aboard the ISS, 4 of whom are members of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission. Crew-5’s arrival begins the countdown for Crew-4’s departure from the station, which can occur in a few week, stated Sarah Walker, director for Dragon mission administration at SpaceX.
The precise timing of Crew-4’s splashdown return off the coast of Florida depends on climate, Walker stated throughout yesterday’s post-launch press convention.
“So, we’ll proceed to observe the climate,” she stated. “The automobile that’s onboard supporting the Crew-4 mission is wholesome, and we’ll simply look ahead to these situations to securely carry the crew residence.”
Editor’s observe: This story was up to date at 7 p.m. EDT with information of hatch opening and the Crew-5 astronauts’ transfer from Endurance to the ISS.