The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has successfully landed on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket used for today’s mission previously flew on SpaceX’s 22nd commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station in June 2021.
Next up, Crew Dragon will separate from the rocket’s second stage to continue its journey to the International Space Station.
Shutdown of the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage engines occurs right on time, and Crew Dragon is now in orbit. In just a moment, the rocket’s first stage will attempt to land on a droneship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The call came in from Crew-3 Commander Raja Chari that trajectory is nominal, and the first stage has started its descent. The Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage will continue to burn for the next few minutes before intentionally shutting down.
The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage has reached main engine cutoff, known as MECO, and the first and second stages have separated. As the second stage continues carrying Crew Dragon on its flight, the rocket’s first stage will attempt a targeted landing on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
We have liftoff! At 9:03 p.m. EST, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft lit up the night sky at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer on the start of a 22-hour journey to the International Space Station.
Coming up in just one minute, the rocket will pass through Max Q – the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket. Following this, the Falcon 9’s first and second stages will separate.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance by the crew, is now just five minutes away. Everything is proceeding according to schedule, and all is looking good for the Crew-3 launch!
The second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is being loaded with liquid oxygen, and everything remains on track for a targeted 9:03 p.m. EST liftoff. Inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft are NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer. This will be the third spaceflight for Marshburn and the first for Chari, Barron, and Maurer.
The launch abort system for the Crew Dragon spacecraft has been armed, and fueling of the Falcon 9 rocket is underway. We’re now T-35 minutes from launch, and the rocket is being loaded with RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene). The rocket’s first stage also is being fueled with liquid oxygen, and a few minutes from now, fueling will begin for the second stage.
Weather officials with the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron now predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for tonight’s launch. Liftoff is targeted for 9:03 p.m. EST.
The crew access arm has retracted, and in just a few minutes, Crew Dragon Endurance’s launch escape system will be armed. This will allow the Crew-3 astronauts to escape safely in the unlikely event of an anomaly from the moment the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off until the time they reach orbit – a timespan of roughly 12 minutes.
Liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, carrying Crew-3 astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron, and Matthias Maurer, is now just a little under an hour away. The mission director has given the “go” for propellant loading, and about 10 minutes from now, the crew access arm will swing away from the spacecraft as launch preparations continue.