Propellant and Liquid Oxygen Loading Underway

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket fueling has begun. RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading and first stage liquid oxygen loading is underway. Liftoff is scheduled for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

For this morning’s launch, the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron continues to predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions at the launch pad for liftoff based on Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch weather criteria.

SpaceX Launch Director Verifies ‘Go’ for Propellant Load

In just a few minutes, the rocket’s first stage will be loaded with rocket grade kerosene called RP-1 and liquid oxygen. Then the second stage will be loaded with liquid oxygen.

Crew Dragon Spacecraft is ‘Go’ for Launch

Confirmation was received from Commander Shane Kimbrough that Crew Dragon, named Endeavour by the crew, is ‘go’ for launch! The next call will come at T-minus 45 minutes from the launch director. Weather looks good and we remain on target for a 5:49 a.m. EDT launch.

Hatch Closed on Crew Dragon

The hatch is closed on Crew Dragon.The hatch is now closed on the Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour by the Crew-2 astronauts. Liftoff for Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, Akihido Hoshide, and Thomas Pesquet is just under two hours away (5:49 a.m. EDT).

Crew-2 Astronauts Are Secured Inside the Crew Dragon Spacecraft

The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021.
The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021. Photo credit: NASA

The Crew-2 astronauts are in view inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft before the hatch was closed and secured.

What Do Astronauts Listen to While Riding in a Tesla to Their Rocket?

Here is a sample of the Crew-2 playlists:

  • First car (Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur): “Learn to Fly” by the Foo Fighters, “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne, “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, and “City of Blinding Lights” by U2.
  • Second car (Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide): “Drops of Jupiter” by Train, “Paradise City” by Guns and Roses, and “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Arrive at the Launch Site

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, have arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A, where the Crew Dragon spacecraft, Endeavour, is ready for them to climb in for launch. Liftoff is slated for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

In the next few minutes, they will take the elevator up the pad’s fixed service structure and walk down the air-conditioned crew access arm to the White Room, their final stop before climbing aboard.

Crew-2 Astronauts Ready for their Ride to Launch Pad 39A

The Crew-2 astronauts walk out the double doors to board their Tesla's for the ride to Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2021
The Crew-2 astronauts walk out the double doors to board their Tesla’s for the ride to Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2021

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts just walked out of the double doors below the Neil A. Armstrong Building’s Astronaut Crew Quarters and made their way out to the customized Tesla Model X cars that will take them to their spacecraft.

Next stop: Kennedy’s historic Launch Pad 39A.

Crew-2 Astronauts Suiting Up for Mission

Crew-2 astronauts suit up in their SpaceX spacesuits in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021.
Crew-2 astronauts suit up in their SpaceX spacesuits in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 23, 2021. Photo credit: NASA

Crew-2 mission astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are in the suit room in the Astronaut Crew Quarters inside Kennedy Space Center’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building.

A team of SpaceX suit technicians will help them as they put on their custom-fitted spacesuits and check the suits for leaks.

Crew-2 Astronauts Handed off to SpaceX

The crew for the second long-duration SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, are pictured during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the (ESA (European Space Agency); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.
The crew for the second long-duration SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, are pictured during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the (ESA (European Space Agency); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Photo credit: SpaceX

Crew-2 astronauts have received their weather briefing. The NASA team that has worked with Commander Shane Kimbrough, Pilot Megan McArthur, and Mission Specialists Akihiko Hoshide with JAXA, and Thomas Pesquet with ESA, throughout their quarantine at Kennedy Space Center has handed over the astronauts to the team of SpaceX suit technicians, who will help them suit up.

 

Designed for safety and functionality, SpaceX spacesuits also provide modern comfort and style. The spacesuit provides pressurization, protecting from potential

depressurization. A port on the suit’s thigh connects to life support systems, including air and power. The suits also include touchscreen-compatible gloves and a flame-resistant outer layer. The helmet is custom manufactured using 3D printing technology and includes integrated valves, mechanisms for visor retraction and locking, and microphones.