NASA Updates Commercial Crew Planning Manifest Through 2024

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NASA and its industry partners, Boeing and SpaceX, are planning target launch schedules for upcoming commercial crew missions to the International Space Station.

Target Launch Manifest

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test: NET July 21, 2023
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7: NET mid-August 2023
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8: NET February 2024
NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1: NET Summer 2024

Here is a closer look at each mission:

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test

NASA and Boeing’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), planned no earlier than July 21, 2023, is the first crewed flight of the Starliner system prior to certification and regular crewed missions to the space station. For CFT, the Starliner spacecraft will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, returning approximately eight days later in White Sands, New Mexico. The flight will carry two NASA astronaut test pilots, Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams, on the demonstration flight to prove the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7

NASA and SpaceX’s seventh rotational mission to the space station is planned for no earlier than mid-August 2023. NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), mission commander and pilot, respectively, will fly aboard the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft named Endurance, which previously flew on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 and Crew-3 missions. The final two mission specialists will be assigned in the coming weeks. The spacecraft is currently being prepared for flight at SpaceX’s refurbishing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company’s Falcon 9 rocket booster selection in support of Crew-7 is ongoing.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8

NASA and SpaceX’s eighth rotational mission to the space station is planned for no earlier than February 2024. An integrated crew of four will travel to the space station aboard a SpaceX Dragon and Falcon 9 rocket. Hardware allocations for Dragon and Falcon are planned in the coming months. Once crew members are assigned, operations teams will increase crew training activities specific to the mission, including spacesuit production and testing.

NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1

NASA and Boeing’s first crew rotation mission to the space station is planned for no earlier than summer 2024. NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Mike Fincke, commander and pilot, respectively, will fly aboard the Starliner spacecraft, which previously flew on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Two mission specialists will be assigned in the coming months. Timing of the launch is subject to change based on several factors, including: a successful CFT, incorporation of anticipated learning from CFT, approvals of postflight data and final certification products, and completion of operational readiness and certification reviews. Starliner-1 will fly a new service module currently in production at the Boeing facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Production of the Atlas V rocket is complete. The hardware is in storage at the United Launch Alliance facility in Decatur, Alabama, awaiting shipment to the launch site for stacking and final integration with the spacecraft.

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.

NASA, ESA Assign Astronauts to Space Station Mission on Crew Dragon

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen. Credits: NASA
NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen. Credits: NASA

NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) have selected two astronauts to launch on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli and ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, for the mission. Two mission specialists will be announced later, following review by NASA and its international partners.

The mission is expected to launch no earlier than 2023 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Moghbeli, Mogensen, and the additional mission specialists will join an expedition crew aboard the space station.

This will be the first spaceflight for Moghbeli, who became a NASA astronaut in 2017. Moghbeli is from Baldwin, New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. As an AH-1W Super Cobra pilot and Marine Corps test pilot, she has flown more than 150 missions accruing 2,000 hours of flight time in more than 25 different aircraft. She also graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland. At the time of her selection as an astronaut, Moghbeli was testing H-1 helicopters and serving as the quality assurance and avionics officer for VMX-1. She is also the proud mom of twin girls.

This will be Mogensen’s second trip to the space station as a veteran of the ESA 10-day Iriss mission in 2015, for which he served as a flight engineer. Mogensen was the flight engineer on Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft during launch and Soyuz TMA-16M during the return flight. Mogensen has logged 9 days, 20 hours, and 9 minutes in space. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and graduated with an international baccalaureate from the Copenhagen International School, a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Imperial College London, and a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2015, Mogensen became the first Danish person to go to space and currently is serving as the European astronaut liaison officer to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program works with the U.S. aerospace industry to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station on American-made rockets and spacecraft launching from American soil.

For more than 21 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. As a global endeavor, 253 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 3,000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 109 countries and areas.

The station is a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight and to expand commercial opportunities in low-Earth orbit. As commercial companies focus on providing human space transportation services and developing a robust low-Earth orbit economy, NASA is free to focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions to the Moon and Mars.

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