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.

A Look at Today’s Key Milestones for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 Mission

The Crew-2 mission patch.Below are some key milestones for today’s Crew-2 mission. Launch is targeted for 5:49 a.m. EDT.

  • 1:29 a.m. Crew weather brief
  • 1:39 a.m. Crew handoff
  • 1:49 a.m. Suit donning and checkouts
  • 2:29 a.m. Crew walkout from Neil Armstrong Operations & Checkout Building
  • 2:34 a.m. Crew transportation to Launch Complex 39A
  • 2:54 a.m. Crew arrives at pad
  • 3:14 a.m. Crew ingress
  • 3:29 a.m. Communication check
  • 3:34 a.m. Verify ready for seat rotation
  • 3:52 a.m. Suit leak checks
  • 3:54 a.m. Hatch close
  • 5:04 a.m. SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for propellant load
  • 5:07 a.m. Crew access arm retracts
  • 5:11 a.m. Dragon spacecraft launch escape system is armed
  • 5:14 a.m. RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins; first stage liquid oxygen loading begins
  • 5:33 a.m. Second stage liquid oxygen loading begins
  • 5:42 a.m. Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
  • 5:44 a.m. Dragon transitions to internal power
  • 5:48 a.m. Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks;
    propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
  • 5:48:17 a.m. SpaceX Launch Director verifies go for launch
  • 5:48:59 a.m. Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
  • 5:49:02 a.m. Liftoff!
  • 5:50 a.m. Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
  • 5:51:38 a.m. First stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
  • 5:51:41 a.m. First and second stages separate
  • 5:51:49 a.m. Second stage engine starts
  • 5:56 a.m. First stage entry burn
  • 5:57:49 a.m. Second stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
  • 5:58:05 a.m. First stage entry burn
  • 5:58:32 a.m. First stage landing
  • 6:01 a.m. Crew Dragon separates from second stage
  • 6:02 a.m. Dragon nosecone open sequence begins

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Coverage Starts Now!

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen at sunrise on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-2 mission, Thursday, April 22, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen at sunrise on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-2 mission, Thursday, April 22, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide are scheduled to launch at 5:49 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 23, 2021. Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Good morning and welcome to live blog coverage of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission — the second crew rotation flight and the first with two international crew members on a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the space station. Launch is scheduled for 5:49 a.m. EDT from the historic Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

Here at Kennedy, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped by the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft — named Endeavour by the crew — awaits liftoff early this morning. 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, will fly to the International Space Station for a six-month science mission.

The countdown is proceeding according to schedule. At the Florida spaceport’s Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, the astronauts have eaten and will undergo medical checks and get a weather briefing before suiting up.

Stay with us as the countdown continues. We’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this historic mission. Starting at 1:30 a.m. EDT, on NASA Television and the agency’s website, there will be continuous live coverage of important Crew-2 activities.