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-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, SpaceX, and international partners have completed the launch readiness review for the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station. Crew-7 managers gathered at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday to review the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft readiness and decided launch is “Go” for liftoff to the space station. Launch now is targeted for 3:50 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 25, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. If needed, a backup launch opportunity is available at 3:27 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 26.
On Wednesday, rocket and ground systems engineering teams completed the detailed data reviews following the integrated static fire of the Falcon 9 rocket conducted the day before at Launch Complex 39A. Falcon 9 performance was normal, resulting in a successful full duration static fire of all nine Merlin first-stage engines.
Operations teams are not tracking any major issues with Falcon 9 or the Dragon spacecraft. NASA and SpaceX spent Wednesday working toward final launch readiness, with remaining work expected to be completed ahead of launch.
The International Space Station Program is monitoring the potential need for a debris avoidance maneuver early afternoon Thursday, Aug. 24, for the orbital outpost. Space station mission control trajectory teams are tracking the debris and determining whether a short duration burn of the station’s thrusters would be required. If needed, the maneuver is not expected to impact the planned arrival of the Roscosmos ISS Progress cargo spacecraft also on Thursday. More information will be provided as orbital trajectory teams review the data and determine whether the debris would fly in the vicinity of the space station requiring a change in station’s altitude.
On Tuesday, Crew-7 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 participated in a rehearsal of launch day activities in preparation for the upcoming Crew-7 launch.
Rehearsal began with launch teams assisting Crew-7 crewmates into their SpaceX spacesuits inside the Astronaut Crew Quarters at Kennedy’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building – just as they will on launch day. Next, the crew took the elevator down to the ground floor and exited the building’s double doors, where Tesla Model X vehicles were waiting to drive them the short distance to the launch site.
After they arrived at the launch pad, Moghbeli, Mogensen, Furukawa, and Borisov rode the launch tower’s elevator up to the crew access arm – the walkway they will use to enter Dragon, named Endurance. Once securely seated inside, the crew members checked their communications systems and performed seat rotation and suit leak checks. The rehearsal concluded with closure of the spacecraft’s side hatch, which normally occurs about one hour and 25 minutes before liftoff.
Forecasters with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch, with the cumulus cloud rule serving as the primary weather concern.
Starting at 11:45 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 24, the live broadcast of the mission – including liftoff and postlaunch milestones – will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Check the Crew-7 blog starting at 11 p.m., for key events leading up to launch and through spacecraft separation.
We’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this mission. 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.
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.
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.
NASA and SpaceX are preparing for the seventh rotational mission of the company’s human space transportation system to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.The earliest targeted launch date for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission is Tuesday, Aug. 15, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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 fly aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, which previously flew on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 and Crew-5 missions. This will be the first launch for the Falcon 9 rocket booster SpaceX selected to support this mission.
Dragon currently is being prepared for flight at SpaceX’s processing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. As part of the refurbishment process, teams will install new components, including the heat shield, parachutes, and Draco engines in addition to a flight-proven nosecone. SpaceX recently completed Dragon’s propulsion system checkouts and will soon mate the heat shield to the spacecraft. Once refurbishment is complete, Dragon will be stacked to its trunk ahead of transportation to SpaceX’s hangar at nearby Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy.
Following static fire testing at a SpaceX facility in Texas, the booster will undergo stage testing and further assessments prior to acceptance and certification for flight.
Once all rocket and spacecraft system checkouts are complete and components are certified for flight, SpaceX teams will mate Dragon to the Falcon 9 rocket in the company’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A. Teams will then roll the integrated spacecraft and rocket to the pad and raise it to a vertical position for an integrated static fire test prior to launch.
Following liftoff, the Falcon 9 first stage will separate from the second stage and land at SpaceX’s Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Upon its arrival to the space station, Crew-7 will dock to the space-facing, or zenith, port of the Harmony module.
Follow NASA’s commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-7 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-7 progress.
NASA and Boeing completed a joint Crew Flight Test checkpoint review May 25 ahead of the first flight of Starliner with astronauts to the International Space Station. During the checkpoint, mission teams reviewed open work ahead of launch planned no earlier than July 21, including emerging issues that need a path to closure prior to a decision to fuel the spacecraft in June.
“We are taking a methodical approach to the first crewed flight of Starliner incorporating all of the lessons learned from the various in-depth testing campaigns, including Starliner’s flight tests and the agency’s verification efforts,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “All Orbital Flight Test-2 anomalies are closed. In addition to the closeout of ongoing work, the team remains vigilant on tracking new technical issues as we complete certification for crewed flight.”
As part of the ongoing effort, 95% of the Crew Flight Test certification products are complete. This includes approval of Starliner’s crew module batteries, based on additional testing and analysis, along with post-certification flight mitigations and a proposed battery upgrade for future missions. Teams are conducting final spacecraft closeouts and preparing for upcoming hardware milestones, including spacecraft fueling, spacecraft rollout to the launch site, and integration with the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
While the team continues to work the remaining certification products, they also are working resolution paths on the following items:
Teams will remove and replace a by-pass valve on the active thermal control system, which is located on the Starliner service module and is used to flow coolant into the system to cool the onboard avionics. The Starliner team is replacing the valve that was restricting flow to one of two redundant loops, and running a diagnostic to confirm the suspected issue with the malfunctioning hardware. This work is expected to take about a week with no overall impact to the launch schedule at this time.
Engineers also are working to evaluate any elevated risk from a specific type of tape used on the spacecraft to protect wires from chafing. Although the tape is commonly used in spaceflight, the adhesive properties of the tape could present a flammability risk under certain conditions. NASA and Boeing are evaluating this material and the system’s overall wiring protection to confirm it is acceptable for crewed flight. Those efforts are ongoing and are expected to complete before Boeing begins fueling operations on the spacecraft.
NASA and Boeing also are working to reassess Starliner’s parachute system margins based on new data reviews as part of the ongoing design certification process. Engineers are reviewing the overall efficiency of certain joints within the parachute system to confirm they meet all required factors of safety for crewed flight.
“Crew safety remains the highest priority for NASA and its industry providers, and emerging issues are not uncommon in human spaceflight especially during development,” said Stich. “If you look back two months ago at the work we had ahead of us, it’s almost all complete. The combined team is resilient and resolute in their goal of flying crew on Starliner as soon as it is safe to do so. If a schedule adjustment needs to be made in the future, then we will certainly do that as we have done before. We will only fly when we are ready.”
Starliner spacecraft fueling is expected to begin as early as mid-June, and there is some operational flexibility in that timeline that can be used if needed. Teams will continue to monitor the forward work and determine whether an adjustment in the current launch date is needed. An update on the team’s progress will be provided in the coming weeks.
Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) has been selected as a mission specialist for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission – the agency’s seventh rotational mission to the International Space Station.
Furukawa joins NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively. An additional crew member will be assigned at a later date.
Furukawa spent 165 days aboard the orbiting laboratory in 2011 as a flight engineer with Expeditions 28 and 29. As part of his duties, he helped support the final space shuttle mission, STS-135.
This will be the first spaceflight for Moghbeli, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017, and the first long-duration mission for Mogensen. He previously served as a flight engineer on a 10-day mission to the space station in 2015. Crew-7 will be his second trip to space.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than mid-August for the launch of Crew-7, aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four astronauts will join an expedition crew aboard the space station.