Crew-5 flight Crew Arrives at Launch Complex 39A

Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center
Shown is Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 5, 2022. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 liftoff is targeted for noon EDT today. Credits: NASA

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’s SpaceX Crew-5 Launch Day: A Sendoff From Family and Friends

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 crew members wave to family and friends
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crewmates, from left, Anna Kikina, Josh Cassada, Nicole Mann, and Koichi Wakata wave to family, friends, and supporters outside of Kennedy Space Center’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on Oct. 5, 2022. Credit: NASA

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.

It is about 3 hours, 15 minutes until liftoff.

Historic Walk Out of Kennedy Facility

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 patchNASA’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.

Next stop: Kennedy’s historic Launch Complex 39A.

Exciting Research Part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Mission

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission, countdown clock
The iconic countdown clock appears in the foreground, while the Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are seen in the background at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. The mission is set to lift off today at noon EDT from the Florida spaceport. Credit: NASA

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.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Mission Coverage Starts Now!

NASA's Space-X Crew-5 on launch day at Kennedy Space Center
A Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft – named Endurance – atop, is poised for launch on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. Credit: NASA

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.

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

Learn more about station activities by following  @space_station  and @ISS_Research  on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook  and ISS Instagram  accounts.

NASA, SpaceX Proceeding to Crew-5 Launch

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon Endurance spacecraft atop
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon Endurance spacecraft atop, is vertical at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 1, 2022, ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 launch, targeted for noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Photo credit: SpaceX

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:

www.nasa.gov/live 

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: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Thursday, Oct. 6

4:57 p.m. – Docking to the International Space Station

6:42 p.m. – Hatch Opening

8:15 p.m. – Welcome Ceremony

Follow along with launch activities on the commercial crew blog. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following @Commercial_Crew, @space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew Facebook, ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 Launch Readiness Review Complete

Sunrise at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A with Crew-5 rocket vertical
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, sits atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket as the sun rises at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Oct. 3, 2022. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is targeted to launch from Kennedy at noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 5. Photo credit: SpaceX

The Launch Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is complete. Liftoff is targeted for noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida.

The prelaunch news teleconference (audio only) at Kennedy starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with the following participants:

        • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
        • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
        • Emily Nelson, chief flight director, Johnson
        • Kirt Costello, chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program
        • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
        • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA
        • Sergei Krikalev, executive director, Human Space Flight Programs, Roscosmos
        • Brian Cizek, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron

The news conference can be found at www.nasa.gov/nasalive.

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.

Check out the press kit online for blogs, features, photo albums, videos, and fact sheets on Commercial Crew missions. Learn more about station activities by following  @space_station  and @ISS_Research  on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook  and ISS Instagram  accounts.

Weather Favorable for Crew-5 launch, News Teleconference Tonight

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 rocket and spacecraft vertical at Launch Complex 39A
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, sits atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Oct. 2, 2022. Launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission is targeted for noon EDT on Oct. 5, 2022. Photo credit: SpaceX

Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the cumulus cloud rule and flight through precipitation serving as the primary weather concerns. Liftoff is targeted for noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, there will be a prelaunch news teleconference at Kennedy (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review) with the following participants:

        • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
        • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
        • Emily Nelson, chief flight director, Johnson
        • Kirt Costello, chief scientist, NASA’s International Space Station Program
        • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
        • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA
        • Sergei Krikalev, executive director, Human Space Flight Programs, Roscosmos
        • Brian Cizek, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron

The prelaunch news teleconference (audio only) can be found at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Crew-5 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 International Space Station.

Follow Commercial Crew and Kennedy Space Center for the latest mission updates.

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 woman in space.

Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann
Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann will be the first Native American woman 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.

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.