Coming up soon, technicians will close the hatch to the Dragon, sealing the astronauts inside for their historic journey to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. About 45 minutes prior to the targeted liftoff, the SpaceX launch director will conduct a poll of NASA and SpaceX mission managers to see if they are ready for launch.
With a successful “Go for launch” decision, the crew access arm will be retracted, the crew will close their visors, the launch escape system will be activated in the event of a contingency, and SpaceX will begin loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket for launch.
The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and Mission Specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Launch is targeted for noon EDT today from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
Follow along here on the blog or tune in to the live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Launch configuration communication checks have been executed, with no issues. The seats are being rotated into position for launch.
The seating order inside SpaceX’s Dragon, named Endurance, from left to right is: Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata.
Liftoff of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission, is less than 2.5 hours away (noon EDT).
Crew-5 crew members are now boarding the Dragon spacecraft, Endurance. As the crewmates board, their seats are configured in the upright position; later, prior to closure of the spacecraft’s side hatch, the seats will be rotated into a reclined position for flight.
All four crew members signed the inside of the White Room, an area at the end of the crew access arm that provides access to the spacecraft. The term “White Room” dates back to the Gemini program. To honor tradition, the room is still painted white today.
Crew-5 crewmates Nicole Aunapu Mann, Josh Cassada, Koichi Wakata, and Anna Kikina have arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, where SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, Endurance, is ready for them to climb in for launch. Liftoff is slated for noon EDT.
In the next few minutes, they’ll take the elevator up the pad’s fixed service structure and walk down the air-conditioned crew access arm to the White Room – their final stop before climbing aboard.
The approximate 29-hour journey to the International Space Station sets up a 4:57 p.m. EDT docking at the orbiting laboratory on Thursday, Oct. 6.
NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina are on their way to Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A after departing the Florida spaceport’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building. They are right on schedule.
Before leaving, the astronauts paused to recognize loved ones, waving to family, friends, and support team members who gathered to see them off. They then climbed into their customized white Tesla Model X vehicles for the 20-minute ride to the pad.
The crew’s vehicle is traveling in a convoy, including support team members and security personnel. At the launch site, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft Endurance are ready for the astronauts’ arrival.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crew members just walked out of the double doors below Kennedy Space Center’s Neil A. Armstrong Building’s Astronaut Crew Quarters and made their way out to the customized Tesla Model X cars that will take them to their spacecraft.
Crew-5 astronauts will conduct new scientific research, including cardiac experiments to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth. Experiments include studies on printing human organs in space, understanding fuel systems operating on the Moon, and better understanding heart disease.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Heart stem cells could provide a sustainable source of cells to treat heart disease and act as a cell source for drug discovery and safety testing back on Earth. Microgravity may hold the key to increasing stem cell production, improving cell viability, and accelerating the maturation of heart stem cells.
The Project EAGLE investigation will study how spaceflight affects properties of heart muscle cells derived from stem cells in an effort to establish a functional heart tissue model that mimics heart disease and can be used to test new drugs.
As we design space systems such as lunar rovers, life support systems, and fuel tanks to support future exploration missions, it is critical to understand and be able to predict how liquids behave in low-gravity environments. The Liquid Behavior investigation will study how liquids move in a container in simulated lunar gravity to generate data that can be used to improve lunar rover designs.
These are just some of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during the Crew-5 mission.
Stay with us as the countdown continues; we’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this important mission. Starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT, there will be a live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Good morning and welcome to live coverage of today’s NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 launch – a science expedition mission to the International Space Station. Crew-5 marks the fifth crew rotation mission of SpaceX’s human space transportation system, and its sixth flight with astronauts, to the space station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Here at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped by the company’s Dragon spacecraft, awaits liftoff, targeted for noon EDT today, Oct. 5. NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and Mission Specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina will fly to the space station after launching from Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A.
The Crew-5 crew members will arrive at the space station for a short handover period with astronauts from the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Crew-4 Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti will depart the microgravity laboratory for a splashdown off the coast of Florida later this month, completing a long-duration stay on the space station.
Today’s launch is proceeding according to schedule. At the Florida spaceport’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, the astronauts will undergo medical checks and get a weather briefing before suiting up.
The crew will fly to the space station in Dragon Endurance, which previously flew NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission to and from the orbiting laboratory. Stay with us as the countdown continues; we’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this important mission. Starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT today, there will be a live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Note: This blog was changed to update the name of the SpaceX representative in the post-launch news conference.
NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station.
Crew-5 launch remains 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. Thursday, Oct. 6.
Throughout the day, mission teams reviewed the status of the Falcon 9 recovery ship, called Just Read the Instructions, which is ready to support booster recovery. SpaceX teams also successfully replaced a thrust vector control actuator on one of nine Merlin first stage engines and fixed a small leak in the portable fire extinguisher system inside Dragon. Both changes were found in the process of final prelaunch verification checkouts and ensure we have the best systems in place to support a crew launch.
Weather officials with the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict a greater than 90% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch pad for liftoff of the Crew-5 mission based on Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch weather criteria. The primary weather concerns for the launch area are the cumulus cloud and flight through precipitation rules. Teams also will monitor weather conditions both for the launch area and downrange for the flight of Dragon, which remain a watch item due to high winds from the remnants of Hurricane Ian along the mid-Atlantic coast.
Crew-5 prelaunch, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. Follow along at:
The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina to the space station for a science expedition mission. The astronauts will fly on the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft and will launch on a new Falcon 9 booster.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Wednesday, Oct. 5
8:30 a.m. – NASA TV launch coverage begins. NASA Television will have continuous mission coverage to docking and coverage of hatch open and the welcome ceremony.
1:30 p.m. (approximately) – Postlaunch News Conference on NASA TV
Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
Sarah Walker, director, Dragon Mission Management, SpaceX
Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president and director general, JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate
Sergei Krikalev, executive director, Human Space Flight Programs, Roscosmos
Media may ask questions in-person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, Oct. 6
4:57 p.m. – Docking to the International Space Station
Crew-5 will carry two NASA astronauts – Mission Commander Nicole Aunapu 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 International Space Station.