Mission Specialist Assigned to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 Mission

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk
Canadian Space Agency astronaut Joshua Kutryk joins NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Scott Tingle as part of NASA’s Boeing Starlier-1 mission crew. Photo credit: NASA

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.

For more insight on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program missions to the orbiting laboratory, follow the commercial crew blog. More details can be found @commercial_crew on X and commercial crew on Facebook.

Progress Continues Toward NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test to Station

The crew module and new service module for NASA's Boeing Crew Flight Test at Kennedy Space Center.
Inside Boeing’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 19, 2023, the Starliner team works to finalize the mate of the crew module and new service module for NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test that will take NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to and from the International Space Station. Photo credit: Boeing/John Grant

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.

Follow NASA’s commercial crew blog or CFT mission blog for the latest information on progress. Details about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Crew-7 Targets Saturday Launch to Space Station

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon Endurance spacecraft are photographed at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, atop the company’s Falcon 9 rocket, stands tall at the pad at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, who arrived at Kennedy on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023, will fly to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission. Photo credit: SpaceX

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.

For a launch on Saturday, the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron predicts a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch pad for liftoff based on Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch weather criteria.

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.

Live coverage of Crew-7 activities begins at 11:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 25, on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Follow along for details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program on the Crew-7 blog, the commercial crew blog,@commercial_crew on X, and commercial crew on Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 Go for Launch to Space Station

NASA's SpaceX Crew-7 crew members are photographed inside the Dragon spacecraft during a dry dress rehearsal on Aug. 22, 2023.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew members are photographed in the Dragon Endurance spacecraft during a dry dress rehearsal at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 22, 2023. From left are Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. Photo credit: SpaceX

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.

NASA's Crew-7 crew members are photographed in front of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket following their arrival to Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center during a dry dress rehearsal on Aug. 22, 2023.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew members arrive at Launch Complex 39A during a dry dress rehearsal at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Aug. 22, 2023. Photo credit: SpaceX

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.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 Astronauts Touch Down at Florida Spaceport

NASA's SpaceX Crew-7 crew members arrive at Kennedy Space Center in Florida
Crew members for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station arrive at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2023. 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 aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. Liftoff is targeted for 3:49 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 25, 2023, from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A.

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
  • ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, pilot
  • JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, mission specialist
  • 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, SpaceX Reset Crew-7 Launch to Friday, Aug. 25

NASA's SpaceX Crew-7 crew members in their spacesuits
Crew-7 astronauts pose in front of their SpaceX Dragon spacecraft recently at the company’s Hawthorne, California, headquarters. The mission to the International Space Station is targeted for launch on Aug. 25 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: SpaceX

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.

Follow NASA’s commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-7 flight readiness.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Mission Specialist Assigned to NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 Mission

Astronaut Satoshi Furukawa from JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)
JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa was named a mission specialist for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission. Photo credit: NASA

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.

For more insight on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program missions to the orbiting laboratory, follow the commercial crew blog. More details can be found @commercial_crew on Twitter and commercial crew on Facebook.

Endeavour Spacecraft Reaches Orbit, News Conference at 2:30 a.m. EST

NASA's SpaceX Crew-6 liftoff from Kennedy Space Center
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 crew members Stephen Bowen, Woody Hoburg, Sultan Alneyadi, and Andrey Fedyaev blast off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 12:34 a.m. EST Thursday, March 2, 2023. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour, carrying NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen, commander; Woody Hoburg, pilot; and mission specialists UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev to the International Space Station, has safely reached orbit, and the nosecone has been opened.

At 2:30 a.m. EST, NASA will host a postlaunch news conference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will be broadcast live on NASA TV and the agency’s website. Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters in Washington
  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy 
  • Dina Contella, operations integration manager, International Space Station Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Program, SpaceX
  • Salem AlMarri, director general, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre

Crew-6 will dock at the space station at approximately 1:17 a.m. EST on Friday, March 3. Live coverage on NASA TV resumes at 11:30 p.m. EST on March 2 and continues through spacecraft docking, hatch opening (2:55 a.m.), and the welcome ceremony (3:40 a.m.) at the microgravity laboratory.

Follow along with mission activities and get more information here on the Crew-6 blog, commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Stage 1 Successfully Lands on SpaceX Drone Ship

Crew-6 mission: Stage 1 landing of SpaceX drone ship
Approximately eight minutes after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 12:34 a.m. EST on March 2, 2023, Stage 1 of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket comes in for a landing on the company’s drone ship, Just Read the Instructions. Photo credit: NASA

Stage 1 of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket completed its descent and successfully landed on SpaceX’s drone ship, Just Read the Instructions, off the coast of Florida.

Crew-6 Reports Trajectory Nominal

The positive call came in from NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 Commander Stephen Bowen that trajectory is nominal. The first stage has started its descent.