NASA, SpaceX Target Saturday, March 2, for Crew-8 Launch

NASA's SpaceX Crew-8 crew members are photographed inside the crew access arm at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 from left to right, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Michael Barratt, pilot; Matthew Dominick, commander; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist; are photographed inside the crew access arm at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a dress rehearsal on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, in preparation for the Crew-8 mission. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 11:16 p.m. EST Saturday, March 2, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station. Joint teams selected the updated launch opportunity due to unfavorable weather conditions forecast for Friday, March 1, in offshore areas along the flight track of the Dragon spacecraft. High wind and waves along the eastern seaboard have been observed and are forecast to continue through Saturday morning. In the unlikely case of an abort during launch or the flight of Dragon, the wind and wave conditions must be within acceptable conditions for the safe recovery of the crew and spacecraft.

The live broadcast of the mission – including liftoff and postlaunch milestones – will air on NASA+, NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website at 7:15 p.m. EST. Docking coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 3, for a docking scheduled for approximately 2:10 p.m.

We’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this mission. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test Stacking Up For Launch

United Atlas V rocket raised to vertical at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida
Crews raise a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to a vertical position at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) are readying the rocket that will launch the first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands vertical at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands vertical, awaiting integration with the rocket’s Centaur upper stage and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner after moving inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

The ULA Atlas V rocket was moved into the company’s Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, which starts the preparations for its stacking operations ahead of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test.

The rocket’s main stage was transferred from the nearby Advanced Spaceflight Operations Center to the integration facility Wednesday, Feb. 21, where it will await integration with the rocket’s upper Centaur stage and Starliner. The spacecraft will carry NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore to the orbiting laboratory for a short stay of about one to two weeks before returning to a landing site in the southwest United States.

The mission will test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system, including launch, docking, and a return to Earth. After successful completion of the mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crewed rotation missions to the space station.

NASA and Boeing are targeting no earlier than late April for launch. Starliner completed two uncrewed flight tests, including Orbital Flight Test-2, which docked to the space station on May 21, 2022, and provided valuable data leading up to its first crewed flight.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.

NASA SpaceX Crew-8 Flight Readiness Review Concludes, Teleconference to Follow

Mission managers with NASA, SpaceX, and international partners gather on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to complete a Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Mission managers with NASA, SpaceX, and international partners gather on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to complete a Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The Flight Readiness Review (FRR) for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a planned liftoff at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 7:30 p.m. EST to discuss the outcome of the review. Listen live on NASA’s website.

Participants in the teleconference are:

  • Ken Bowersox, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Emily Nelson, chief flight director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
  • Eric van der Wal, Houston office team leader, ESA (European Space Agency)
  • Takayoshi Nishikawa, director, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Houston Office

Later tonight, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, will roll out to the pad at Launch Complex 39A. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the crew will participate in a rehearsal of launch day activities ahead of an integrated static fire test in preparation for liftoff.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist, will fly to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon spacecraft. As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-8 marks the ninth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and the eighth crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Astronauts Touch Down at Florida Spaceport

Crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station stand before members of the news media at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.
Crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, Matthew Dominick, and Michael Barratt, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, stand before members of the news media at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. The Crew-8 mission is slated to launch aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, powered by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

After departing via Gulfstream jet aircraft from Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin just landed at the Launch and Landing Facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew will begin final preparations for liftoff to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission.

Crew-8 astronauts will be greeted shortly by NASA leaders for a brief welcome ceremony and media event, scheduled for about 2 p.m. EST with the following participants:

  • Jennifer Kunz, associate director, NASA Kennedy
  • Dana Hutcherson, deputy program manager, Commercial Crew Program
  • NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick
  • NASA astronaut Michael Barratt
  • NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps
  • Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin

The event is scheduled to be streamed live on Kennedy’s YouTube, X, and Facebook accounts.

Crew-8 astronauts are scheduled to launch to the space station at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The crew will spend several months living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth in the fall of 2024.

This is the eighth crew rotation flight and the ninth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station for CCP. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Astronauts Depart Houston for Florida

Members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist; will launch to the International Space Station no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST Friday, March 1, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 crew members are en route to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin final launch preparations.

Crew-8 crewmates NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist, departed by plane from Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for the short flight to the Florida spaceport. The crew is expected to arrive at Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility this afternoon.

Crew-8 astronauts will be greeted upon their arrival by leaders from NASA for a brief welcome ceremony targeted for approximately 2 p.m. EST. The event is scheduled to stream live, if weather permits, on Kennedy’s YouTube, X, and Facebook accounts.

Meanwhile, NASA, SpaceX, and international partner representatives have gathered at Kennedy to participate in the agency’s Flight Readiness Review, which focuses on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the space station, and its international partners to support the launch of Crew-8 and return of Crew-7. A teleconference is planned for later today, approximately one hour after the conclusion of the review. Be sure to follow along on our blog; additional details will be provided as the day progresses.

SpaceX Crew-8 is targeted to launch at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, to the International Space Station.

Crew-8 Enters Quarantine for Mission to Space Station

One Russian cosmonaust and three astronauts, three men and one woman, stand next to each other to pose for a photo.
Members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist; participate in the Crew Equipment Interface Test at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Photo credit: SpaceX

Crew members slated to fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission entered quarantine Friday evening in one of the last major milestones before they head to the Florida launch site to start their mission to the International Space Station.

The flight crew health stabilization process is a routine part of final preparations for all missions to the space station. Crew-8 members will spend the final two weeks before liftoff in quarantine to help ensure they are healthy and to protect the astronauts already on the space station from sickness. During quarantine, contact with other people is limited during the isolation time and most interactions are handled remotely, though family and some launch and flight team members are cleared before they interact with the crew during this timeframe.

NASA astronauts Matthew DominickMichael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to perform research, technology demonstrations, and maintenance activities aboard the space station. NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, for the launch of the Crew-8 mission.

Crew-8 is the eighth crew rotation mission with SpaceX to the station, and the ninth human spaceflight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The cadre will fly aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, which previously flew NASA’s SpaceX Demo Mission-2, Crew-2 and Crew-6, in addition to Axiom Mission 1, the first private astronaut mission to the microgravity laboratory.

Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-8 progress and flight readiness as reviews and milestones continue. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA, SpaceX Target March 1 for Crew-8 Launch to Space Station

 

Members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist; participate in the Crew Equipment Interface Test at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX teams adjusted the launch date for the Crew-8 mission to no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST Friday, March 1. The shift follows the successful launch early Thursday morning of the Intuitive Machines IM-1 lander from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a robotic mission to land on the Moon.

NASA astronauts Matthew DominickMichael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will lift off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A to perform research, technology demonstrations, and maintenance activities aboard the space station. This is the eighth crew rotational mission with SpaceX to station, and the ninth human spaceflight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-8 progress and flight readiness as reviews and milestones continue. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA, SpaceX Target Late February for Crew-8 Launch to Station

Official SpaceX Crew-8 portrait with Roscosmos cosmonaut and Mission Specialist Aleksandr Grebenkin, and Pilot Michael Barratt, Commander Matthew Dominick, and Mission Specialist Jeanette Epps, all three NASA astronauts. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:49 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 28, for the launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station. The launch of Crew-8 was adjusted to deconflict operations with Intuitive Machines’ IM-1, the company’s first lunar lander mission to the Moon as part NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, currently targeted for Wednesday, Feb. 14. NASA and SpaceX will continue to assess Crew-8 readiness and may adjust the Crew-8 launch date following a successful IM-1 launch.

“The Commercial Crew Program has been following along with the IM-1 mission preparations, and we are wishing the Intuitive Machines and SpaceX teams all the best ahead of this extremely complex mission to the lunar surface,” said Steve Stich, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will lift off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to perform research, technology demonstrations, and maintenance activities aboard the space station. Crew-8 is the eighth crew rotation mission with SpaceX to station, and the ninth human spaceflight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA, SpaceX Target NET Feb. 22 to Launch Crew-8

Official SpaceX Crew-8 portrait with Roscosmos cosmonaut and Mission Specialist Aleksandr Grebenkin, and Pilot Michael Barratt, Commander Matthew Dominick, and Mission Specialist Jeanette Epps, all three NASA astronauts. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Thursday, Feb. 22, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station. Crew-8 hardware and ground systems processing continues for the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket as operations teams recently completed critical crew trainings in preparation for launch.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin will travel to the orbiting laboratory aboard Crew-8 to begin a stay of about six months that will include research and operational tasks.

Crew-8 will fly to the space station aboard the Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, currently undergoing refurbishment for its fifth flight. The Dragon spacecraft previously supported NASA’s Demo-2, Crew-2, and Crew-6, as well as Axiom Space’s Axiom Mission 1 flights to and from the orbiting laboratory. As part of the refurbishment process, teams have installed new components such as the heatshield, parachutes, pod panels, Draco engines, and nosecone.

SpaceX recently completed Dragon’s propulsion system checkouts at the company’s processing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Teams soon will stack Dragon on its trunk ahead of transporting the spacecraft to SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the rocket.

Meanwhile, teams also are preparing the Falcon 9 booster that will be making its first flight on Crew-8. The booster recently completed stage testing and will undergo final assembly in the SpaceX hangar at Launch Complex 39A ahead of the Dragon and Falcon 9 mate. Once all rocket and spacecraft system checkouts are complete, the integrated stack will be rolled to the pad and raised to vertical for a static fire test prior to launch.

As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-8 is the ninth human spaceflight mission supported by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the eighth crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020 for NASA.

Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-8 progress and flight readiness as reviews and milestones continue. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.

NASA Astronauts Complete Key Boeing Mission Simulation

NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Barry “Butch” Wilmore emerge from the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, as part of an integrated crew exercise simulation for NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT). Photo credit: NASA/Isaac Watson

NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore successfully completed an integrated crew exercise simulation that moves Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft one step closer to its first flight with astronauts to the International Space Station.

Targeted for launch no earlier than mid-April 2024, NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) will fly Williams and Wilmore to the orbiting laboratory for about up to two weeks. They will evaluate Starliner and its systems before returning to Earth in the Western United States. Liftoff will be aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Completing the simulation Wednesday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida marks another milestone toward CFT launch. The integrated exercise involved participation from the flight crew, NASA, Boeing, and ULA, and allowed teams to rehearse prelaunch operations beginning roughly four hours before a targeted liftoff. The exercise began with Wilmore and Williams walking through suit-up procedures inside the Astronaut Crew Quarters in NASA Kennedy’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout building.

Following this, they took an elevator down to the ground floor and exited the same double doors they will on launch day where their crew transportation vehicle was waiting to transport them to the launch pad. The crew and support teams then convoyed to the launch pad, where Williams and Wilmore supported operations from the white room – an area at the end of the launch tower’s crew access arm that will provide access to the spacecraft. The remainder of the rehearsal involved the crew traveling back to NASA Kennedy to support from Boeing’s Mission Control Center.

Over the next several weeks, teams will run through additional simulations focused on each phase of the mission. Some upcoming milestones include CFT certification, fueling Starliner with propellants, and stacking Starliner on the Atlas V rocket before rolling out to the launch pad in preparation for liftoff.

Starliner completed two uncrewed flight tests: Orbital Flight Test-2, which launched from Cape Canaveral and completed its space station mission in May 2022, and Orbital Flight Test-1, which provided teams with additional flight data in December 2019. During these two uncrewed missions, the end-to-end capabilities of the spacecraft were successfully tested.

Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program by following the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.