CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Joshua Kutryk has been selected as a mission specialist for NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission – the first crew rotation flight for the spacecraft to the International Space Station.
Kutryk joins Scott Tingle and Mike Fincke of NASA, who will serve as the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. Both astronauts have previously flown as crew members aboard the space station. This will be Kutryk’s first spaceflight. The final crew assignment for Starliner-1 will be announced following review and approval by the agency and its international partners.
Starliner-1 will launch following the successful completion of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT), with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, which aims to demonstrate Starliner’s ability to achieve NASA certification and safely fly regular crewed missions to space station. Kutryk is the capsule communicator for ascent and re-entry of the CFT mission, relaying communication from Mission Control at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston to the astronauts aboard the spacecraft.
NASA and Boeing are targeting the Starliner-1 launch no earlier than the beginning of 2025 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The four astronauts will join an expedition crew aboard the space station.
NASA and Boeing are working to complete the agency’s verification and validation activities ahead of Starliner’s first flight with astronauts to the International Space Station. While Boeing is targeting March to have the spacecraft ready for flight, teams decided during a launch manifest evaluation that a launch in April will better accommodate upcoming crew rotations and cargo resupply missions this spring.
Once the spacecraft meets the agency’s safety requirements, NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT) will see astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams perform the first crewed mission of the spacecraft designed to take astronauts to and from the orbital laboratory.
Ahead of CFT, Boeing has completed P213 tape removal in the upper dome of the Starliner crew compartment and work is underway to remove or remediate the tape in the lower dome of the spacecraft. These hardware remediation efforts inside the Starliner production facility at NASA Kennedy are expected to be completed during the next several weeks. After the P213 tape remediation efforts conclude, engineers will conduct final assessments to ensure acceptable risk of any remaining tape.
A set of parachutes is on track to be delivered and installed on the CFT spacecraft by the end of this year to support the current target launch date. Separately, the team also is planning a drop test of Starliner’s updated drogue and main parachutes. The parachutes will incorporate a planned strengthening of main canopy suspension lines and the recent design of the drogue and main parachute soft-link joints, which will increase the safety factor for the system. The drop test is planned for early 2024 based on the current parachute delivery schedule.
Boeing and NASA also are planning modifications to the active thermal control system valves to improve long-term functionality following a radiator bypass valve issue discovered during ground operations earlier this year. As discussed during a Starliner media teleconference in June, teams have modified the spacecraft hardware and identified forward work to prevent a similar issue in the future. Options include a system purge to prevent stiction, component upgrades and operational mitigations.
Additionally, about 98% of the certification products required for the flight test are complete, and NASA and Boeing anticipate closure on remaining CFT certification products early next year. Meanwhile, NASA and Boeing have made significant progress on requirement closures related to manual crew control of the spacecraft and abort system analysis.
The latest version of Starliner’s CFT flight software completed qualification testing and is undergoing standard hardware and software integration testing inside Boeing’s Avionics and Software Integration Lab. Starliner’s crew and service modules remain mated and await continuation of standard preflight processing.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket also is in Florida at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station awaiting integration with the spacecraft.
The NASA astronauts who will fly aboard CFT continue to train for their roughly eight-day mission to the orbiting laboratory, which includes working with operations and mission support teams to participate in various simulations across all phases of flight.
Starliner completed two uncrewed flight tests, including Orbital Flight Test-2, which docked to the space station on May 21, 2022, following a launch two days prior from Kennedy. The spacecraft remained docked to space station for four days before successfully landing at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the orbiting laboratory is targeted to launch no earlier than mid-February. The mission will carry NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin to the space station to conduct a wide range of operational and research activities. Routine maintenance and processing of the Crew-8 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft is in work. This will be the first spaceflight for Dominick, Epps, and Grebenkin, and the third for Barratt. Crew-8 is expected to return to Earth in late August 2024, following a short handover with the agency’s Crew-9 mission.
Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT)
The first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft, named NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test (CFT), is planned for no earlier than mid-April. CFT will send NASA astronauts and test pilots Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams on a demonstration flight to prove the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system. Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, spend approximately eight days docked to the space station, and return to Earth with a parachute and airbag-assisted ground landing in the desert of the western United States.
NASA will provide an updated status of CFT readiness as more information becomes available.
Looking further ahead in 2024, NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than mid-August for the launch of the agency’s Crew-9, SpaceX’s ninth crew rotation mission to the space station for NASA. A crew of four will be announced at a later date.
10th Crew Rotation Mission
The 10th commercial crew rotation opportunity to the space station is targeted for early 2025. NASA is planning for either SpaceX’s Crew-10 or Boeing’s Starliner-1 mission in this slot. The Starliner-1 date was adjusted to allow for the post-flight review of the Crew Flight Test and incorporation of anticipated learning, approvals of final certification products, and completion of readiness and certification reviews ahead of that mission.
NASA and SpaceX met Friday evening to continue close evaluations of weather conditions around Florida’s coastline as they consider the best options for Crew-6 to return to Earth. Teams are working toward an undocking opportunity of no earlier than 7:05 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3, with the first potential splashdown opportunity no earlier than 12:07 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 4. Teams are proceeding to the next weather briefing scheduled for Saturday morning to continue assessing weather for the primary target. Additional undock and splashdown opportunities are available early next week if weather conditions continue to be unfavorable over the weekend.
The Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, remains healthy while currently docked to the International Space Station. Dragon has been cleared for departure and re-entry by the space station and Dragon mission management teams. Pre-departure checkouts of the spacecraft were conducted Friday with normal performance across all systems. Operations teams are not working any major issues and there are currently no constraints to flight.
For the current undocking opportunity, NASA TV coverage can be found of the agency’s television schedule.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew members are settling into their new orbital home aboard the International Space Station while Crew-6 make their own preparations for a safe return to Earth in the coming days.
Crew-7 NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov moved into the space station on Aug. 27. The crew launched on Aug. 26 from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Meanwhile, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev are wrapping up crew handover activities with Crew-7 which involves concluding science experiments, and transferring return cargo to their Dragon spacecraft. Their spacecraft has been docked with the space station since arriving in March 2023.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting Saturday, Sept. 2, for Crew-6 and SpaceX’s Dragon to undock from the space station and safely splashdown off the coast of Florida on Sunday, Sept. 3. Joint teams are monitoring weather forecasts across seven potential splashdown sites off the coast of Florida and any impacts Hurricane Idalia may have on recovery operations.
The agency will share more information on Crew-6 return as it becomes available.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting 3:27 a.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 26, for launch of the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station.
Mission managers met on Thursday to discuss the status toward final readiness for a Friday launch opportunity. After performing an extra data review, teams decided to take additional time to reconfirm required factors of safety and operational margin on one of the Dragon spacecraft’s environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) components. The new launch date provides teams additional time to complete the analysis and thoroughly review the necessary data ahead of launch. All ECLSS valves on the Crew-7 and Crew-6 Dragon spacecraft are performing normally, and performed as expected in all preflight testing. Safety continues to be the team’s top priority. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft remain healthy as teams complete and discuss the final results of this additional analysis, and the crew is ready to fly when the entire team is ready.
The Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, commander; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, pilot; and mission specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov will launch atop the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket 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 8:50 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27.
The crew that will soon launch to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission arrived Sunday at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to start final preparations for liftoff.
Crew members NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, commander; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, pilot; and mission specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, landed via Gulfstream jet aircraft at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy after departing from Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The flight crew will be greeted at arrival by leaders from NASA, JAXA, and ESA.
A media event is scheduled about 12:15 p.m. EDT with the following participants:
Bill Nelson, administrator, NASA
Bob Cabana, associate administrator, NASA
Janet Petro, director, NASA Kennedy
Dana Hutcherson, deputy manager, Commercial Crew Program
Eric van der Wal, lead, International Space Station Program Houston Office, ESA
Junichi Sakai, program manager, International Space Station, JAXA
NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, spacecraft commander
Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, mission specialist
The event is scheduled to broadcast live, if weather permits, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. No teleconference option is available for this event.
Crew members are scheduled to lift off at 3:49 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 25, aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft carried by a Falcon 9 rocket for a full duration mission to the space station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).
This is the seventh crew rotation flight and the eighth 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-7 blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.
Crew members who will soon fly aboard NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission will enter quarantine Friday in one of the major milestones before they head to the launch site in Florida to start their mission to the International Space Station.
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-7 members are healthy, as well as protect the astronauts already on the space station. During the period, contact with other people are limited during the isolation time to avoid sickness. Family members and some launch and flight team members are cleared before they interact with the crew during this timeframe though most interactions are handled remotely.
Earlier this month, the crew visited the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a close look at the spacecraft they will take them to the International Space Station.
Gathered at SpaceX’s refurbishment facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, the four crew members put on their flight suits, entered the spacecraft, performed leak checks and completed communications checkouts.
NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, commander; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, pilot; and mission specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov will fly to the space station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, which previously supported the Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions to and from the orbiting laboratory.
The company’s Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to launch Crew-7 no earlier than 3:49 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 25 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy. As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-7 marks the eighth human spaceflight mission supported by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the seventh crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020 for NASA.
The crew also listened to the Dragon spacecraft’s fans and pumps while inside the spacecraft to prepare themselves for the sounds they can expect to hear throughout the flight. They also took additional time to familiarize themselves with the interior of Dragon before leaving the spacecraft.
At SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A, the crew took a familiarization tour of the launch site, completed emergency training, and rode the elevator to the top of the launch pad’s tower to enjoy a beautiful early morning view of Kennedy.
Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-7 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-7 blog, the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.
NASA and Boeing teams continue to make progress in preparing for Starliner’s first crewed flight to and from the International Space Station.
In a media teleconference Aug. 8, leaders from NASA and Boeing discussed the path forward for the spacecraft, including work to address two technical issues identified during the agency’s certification process to ensure the system meets crew safety requirements.
The Starliner team expects to have the Crew Flight Test spacecraft ready in March 2024. A specific target launch date will be set closer to spacecraft readiness, and with consideration of the International Space Station, United Launch Alliance, and Eastern Range availability.
A replay of the teleconference is available on NASA’s YouTube channel.
NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams are assigned to fly Starliner and United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to the International Space Station. The duo will remain docked at the orbiting laboratory for about two weeks to evaluate the new spacecraft and its systems before returning to Earth in the Western United States.
Following a successful first flight with crew, NASA will complete work to certify the Starliner system as an operational crew system for long-duration crew rotation missions to the space station.
The target launch date for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station now is 3:49 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 25. Additional time was required for teams to complete pad readiness after SpaceX’s recent Falcon Heavy mission lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The adjustment also takes advantage of consecutive launch opportunities and deconflicts the station’s cargo spacecraft traffic schedule.
NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket aboard the company’s Dragon spacecraft.
Crew-7 is scheduled to dock to the orbiting laboratory about 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module. If needed, Crew-7 has additional launch opportunities on Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 27.