The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft roared off of Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida! Nicole Aunapu Mann, Josh Cassada, Koichi Wakata, and Anna Kikina have successfully begun their approximate 29-hour journey to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission.
Fuel loading is complete on the second stage, and liquid oxygen loading has begun. Everything remains on target for the noon EDT launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
The launch escape system for the Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance, is now armed. From liftoff until they reach orbit – roughly 12 minutes – the crew would be able to escape safely in the unlikely event of an anomaly.
Confirmation was received from Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann that SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance spacecraft is ‘Go’ for launch! Weather looks good and we remain on target for a noon EDT launch today.
In about 45 minutes, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with Endurance atop, will lift off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida for NASA’s Space X Crew-5 mission.
The mission is the fifth crew rotation flight of a Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.
The crew will dock Endurance to the forward port on the Harmony module of the International Space Station about 29 hours after liftoff. Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at 4:57 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.
Later this month, the four SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts currently on the space station will enter the Dragon Freedom spacecraft and undock from Harmony’s space-facing port for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. Freedom Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, with Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, have been living and working on the orbital lab as Expedition 67 Flight Engineers since April 27.
Crew-5 is scheduled for a long duration stay of up to six months aboard the space station conducting science and maintenance before returning to Earth in the spring of 2023.
The hatch is now closed on the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endurance. Liftoff for Nicole Aunapu Mann, Josh Cassada, Koichi Wakata, and Anna Kikina is approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes away (noon EDT).
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).