Flight Crew Settling in at Kennedy, Making Final Preparations for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Mission

Crew-5 arrives at Kennedy Space Center
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crew members wave after arriving at Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, Oct. 1. The launch is targeted for noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 5, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

By Jim Cawley
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 flight crew has reported to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to start final preparations for liftoff of the mission to the International Space Station.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at the Launch and Landing Facility at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 1, after departing Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The Crew-5 crew will call the Astronaut Crew Quarters at Kennedy home before the Crew-5 launch – targeted for noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 5, from the spaceport’s Launch Complex 39A.

NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana
NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana welcomes the Crew-5 flight crew to Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

“It is always great to come back to Florida, but it’s really great to welcome Crew-5,” said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, who, along with Kennedy Director Janet Petro, was there to greet the crew members as they exited the aircraft. A veteran of four spaceflights, Cabana served as Kennedy’s director for more than a decade.

The crew members are slated to lift off from Kennedy aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance – carried by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket – for a science expedition mission to the space station. The spacecraft will dock to the forward port on the station’s Harmony module about 22 hours later.

“It’s time to get to work. Nobody does this alone, and we have thousands of people around the globe we need to thank for getting us to this spot,” Cassada said during the crew arrival media event. “This is a remarkable opportunity for all of us. We have trained and prepared for years for this.”

The mission marks the fifth spaceflight for Wakata; it is the first spaceflight for Mann, Cassada, and Kikina. Crew-5 marks another important first, as Mann will become the first Native American person in space.

Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann
Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann will be the first Native American person in space. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

“I am very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage. I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and also realize how important it is when we collaborate and unite, the incredible accomplishments that we can have,” Mann said.

“We hope that this will inspire young children throughout the world who come from varying backgrounds; in fact, I hope it inspires adults as well – to follow your dreams, to realize the limitations we had in the past are starting to be broken down and we’re able to achieve things when we work together that perhaps were not possible long ago,” Mann added.

Crew-5 crewmates will participate in a handover ceremony with astronauts from NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Following the handover period, Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and mission specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti will depart the space station for a splashdown off the coast of Florida.

More details about the Crew-5 mission can be found by following the Crew-5 blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Coverage Set for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Events, Broadcast, Launch

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is targeting launch Wednesday, Oct. 5, to the International Space Station from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, to the orbital complex for a science expedition mission. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station.

The launch is targeted for noon EDT, Wednesday, Oct. 5, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 4:57 p.m. EDT Thursday, Oct. 6. Crew arrival, launch, the postlaunch news conference, and mission coverage through docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA also will host an audio only prelaunch news teleconference.

The Crew-5 launch will carry two NASA astronauts Mission Commander Nicole Mann and Pilot Josh Cassada, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists to the space station for a science expedition mission.

Click here for the complete advisory.

Follow all live events at: https://www.nasa.gov/live.

Flight Crew Arrives at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for Crew-5 Mission

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 patchThe crew has safely landed at the Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Touchdown was at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT.

NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and Kennedy Director Janet Petro were there to greet the crew as they exited the aircraft in the following order: NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, pilot; NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, commander; JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina.

Tune in to NASA TV or the agency’s website to view the media event, which has begun.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Flight Crew Departs Houston, Bound for Florida

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 flight crew
From left, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crewmembers Anna Kikina, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata are on their way to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to make final preparations for Wednesday’s launch from the Florida spaceport.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crewmembers have departed Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and are en route to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina will arrive at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT today, Oct. 1, to the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by NASA leaders before conducting a brief interview with media.

Tune in to NASA TV or the agency’s website to view the media event.

Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Kikina are slated to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A at noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5 – aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance, carried by a Falcon 9 rocket – for a science expedition mission to the International Space Station.

NASA Shifts Crew-5 Launch Date Due to Hurricane Ian

The Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission arrives at the hangar at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Sept. 23, 2022. The capsule arrived at the launch complex after making the short journey from its nearby processing facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 5, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station with a U.S. Eastern Range backup date on Oct. 7. Mission management teams also are exploring potential range opportunities on Oct. 6 pending review of the phasing timeline, Oct. 8, and Oct. 9.

Mission teams continue to monitor the impacts of Ian on the Space Coast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and could adjust the launch date again, as necessary. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28, Kennedy Space Center declared HURCON I status with the ride out team sheltered in place at their designated locations until the storm passes.

More updates on the planning schedule, including crew arrival from the agency’s Johnson Space Center to Kennedy, will be provided in the coming days and will depend on weather and center status. The safety of the crew, ground teams, and hardware remain the utmost importance to NASA and SpaceX.

The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is currently mated to the Falcon 9 rocket and safely secured inside SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A. After the storm progresses, teams from NASA and SpaceX will evaluate the potential impacts to the center and determine whether to adjust the mission timeline further.

Undocking of the agency’s Crew-4 mission from the space station will move day-for-day along with the Crew-5 launch date to allow a planned five-day direct handover between crews.

The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

Follow the Crew-5 blog for the latest information on the mission and weather impacts. Learn more about Crew-5 by exploring the Commercial Crew Press Kit.

NASA Adjusts Crew-5 Launch Date Due to Hurricane Ian

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 Dragon Endurance spacecraft
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission arrives at the hangar at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Sept. 23, 2022. The capsule arrived at the launch complex after making the short journey from its nearby processing facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:23 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 4, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station with a backup opportunity on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Mission teams will continue to monitor the impacts of Ian on the Space Coast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and could adjust the launch date again, as necessary. More updates on the planning schedule, including crew arrival from the agency’s Johnson Space Center to Kennedy, will be provided more in the coming days. Based on current schedules, crew arrival is planned no earlier than Friday, Sept. 30. The safety of the crew, ground teams, and hardware are the utmost importance to NASA and SpaceX.

The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is currently mated to the Falcon 9 rocket and safely secured inside SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A. Kennedy Space Center is also making preparations across the spaceport to secure other property and infrastructure. After the storm progresses, teams from NASA and SpaceX will evaluate the potential impacts to the center and determine whether to adjust the mission timeline further.

Undocking of the agency’s Crew-4 mission from the space station will move day-for-day along with the Crew-5 launch date to allow a planned five-day direct handover between crews.

The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

Follow the Crew-5 blog for the latest information on the mission and weather impacts. Learn more about Crew-5 by exploring the Commercial Crew Press Kit.

NASA to Cover Crew-5 Flight Readiness Review

Crew-5 mission astronauts at SpaceX Headquarters
The four members of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission pose for a portrait in their Crew Dragon flight suits at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California. From left are Mission Specialist Anna Kikina from Roscosmos; Pilot Josh Cassada and Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, both from NASA; and Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA will host a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) media teleconference on Monday, Sept. 26, in preparation for the fifth crew rotation mission with SpaceX as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA and SpaceX continue to target no earlier than 12:46 p.m. EDT, Monday, Oct. 3, for launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

These crewmates will travel to the space station for a six-month science and technology research mission. Plans also continue to return NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts following a short handover on the space station with Crew-5.

Today’s FRR starts at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT and includes the following participants:

  • Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Emily Nelson, chief flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, NASA Johnson
  • William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
  • Sergei Krikalev, executive director, Human Space Flight Programs, Roscosmos

Listen to audio of the teleconference streaming at: https://www.nasa.gov/live

Based on the duration of the readiness review, NASA may adjust the date of this briefing if not able to complete the telecon prior to 6 p.m. when the agency’s DART mission coverage begins.

Crew-5 Enters Quarantine for Mission to Space Station

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission astronauts
From left, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronauts Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata will travel to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission on Oct. 3, 2022. Photo credit: NASA

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, entered their official quarantine period beginning Monday, Sept. 19, in preparation for their flight to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission.

The process of flight crew health stabilization is a routine part of final preparations for all missions to the space station. Spending the final two weeks before liftoff in quarantine will help ensure Crew-5 members are healthy, as well as protect the astronauts already on the space station.

Crew members can choose to quarantine at home if they are able to maintain quarantine conditions prior to travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. If quarantining at home is not possible – for example, if a household member can’t maintain quarantine because of job or school commitments – crew members have the option of living in the Astronaut Quarantine Facility at Johnson Space Center until they leave for Kennedy.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is the fifth crew rotation flight to the station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Crew-5 is targeted to launch no earlier than 12:45 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3, on SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. Mission operations teams will be closely monitoring the weather leading up to liftoff.

After docking, the Crew-5 astronauts will be welcomed inside the station by the seven-member crew of Expedition 68. The astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission will undock from the space station and splash down off the coast of Florida several days after Crew-5’s arrival.

More details about the mission can be found in the press kit online and by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Astronauts Meet Their Dragon

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts at Launch Complex 39A
Crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station pose at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. From left, are NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, pilot; Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, mission specialist; NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, mission commander; and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, mission specialist. Photo credit: SpaceX

By Jim Cawley
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

The astronauts who will fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission next month are now well-acquainted with their ride to space. Following a successful crew equipment interface testing (CEIT) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, crew members are ready for their trip to the International Space Station for a science expedition mission.

NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina will lift off aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft – on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket – from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. Liftoff is targeted for no earlier than Oct. 3. As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-5 marks the sixth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and the fifth crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020.

CEIT allows crew members to familiarize themselves with the launch-day timeline and the Dragon interior in a close-to-flight configuration. As part of the testing, astronauts don their flight suits, perform a suited ingress into the vehicle, conduct suit leak checks, and complete communication checkouts.

While inside the vehicle, the crew also listens to the Dragon spacecraft’s fans and pumps to prepare them for the sounds they can expect to hear on launch day. Crew members take additional time to familiarize themselves with the interior of the Dragon before egressing the vehicle, which marks CEIT’s conclusion.

The crew also has undergone mission-specific training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This unique 18-month training program featured activities such as studying and participating in extravehicular activities; Russian language; robotics; T-38 jet flying; spacesuit training; spacecraft training; and physical, tool, and science training.

Crew-5 will fly to the space station in SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance, which previously flew the agency’s Crew-3 mission to and from the orbiting laboratory. Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-5 progress and flight readiness as reviews and milestones continue. NASA and its partners will host a media event in the coming weeks to discuss more about Crew-5 progress.

Details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the Crew-5 blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

NASA, Boeing Prepare for Crew Flight Test

NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) astronauts Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Sunita "Suni" Williams pose for a picture during T-38 pre-flight activities at Ellington Field.
NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams pose for a picture during T-38 pre-flight activities at Ellington Field. Photo credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

NASA and Boeing are targeting an early February 2023 launch for the first CST-100 Starliner flight with astronauts to the International Space Station.

Preparations are underway for the launch of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT) as teams work to ready the hardware, crew, and mission support teams for flight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Two NASA astronaut test pilots, Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams, will fly on CFT to the space station, where they will live and work for approximately eight days. Mission and crew support teams and the CFT astronauts are continuing with preparations and training. NASA and Boeing teams recently conducted an integrated crew exercise to rehearse the prelaunch timeline and responses to various launch event scenarios. In the coming weeks, Wilmore and Williams will don their spacesuits and climb aboard their crew module to check out the vehicle systems and interfaces that support their health and safety.

Refurbishment of the CFT crew module following the first Orbital Flight Test in December 2019 is progressing. Its external shell and thermal protection system will be completed next, followed by preflight checks to finalize the crew module build and test phase. Production of a new service module also is progressing, with teams wrapping up acceptance testing of the thermal control system, installing the pressurant system and integrating the propulsion system. This service module incorporates the same valve mitigations as the OFT-2 spacecraft. That purge system performed as needed during OFT-2 and a similar system has been implemented into the service module for CFT as a preventative measure. Once both the crew module and service module are completed, the two will be mated for flight.

“The Starliner team has done an excellent job throughout the refurbishment process of incorporating all the learning from our uncrewed orbital test flight,” said Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “We expect to do even more learning on our next flight with astronauts to set Starliner up for certification and future operational missions.”

For the crewed flight, Boeing’s Starliner will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Following a successful CFT mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying the Starliner spacecraft and systems for crew missions to the space station.

To read the full feature, click here.