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.