In the early morning hours on Oct. 28, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon Endurance capsule and Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station surpassed a key milestone ahead of launch. While standing on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, the rocket’s nine Merlin first-stage engines roared to life for seven seconds, completing the routine but critical integrated static fire test.
The Crew-3 mission will carry Spacecraft Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barron, all NASA astronauts, along with ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Mission Specialist Matthias Maurer to the space station for a six-month science mission. Liftoff is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT on Sunday, Oct. 31.
This is the third crew rotation flight for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, and the first flight of a new Crew Dragon spacecraft. More details about the mission and the Commercial Crew Program can be found in the online press kit, or by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew, and commercial crew on Facebook.