Dragon Spacecraft Endurance is ‘Go’ for Launch

NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A
Weather is favorable at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Crew-5 launch remains on target for today’s noon EDT launch. Credit: NASA

Confirmation was received from Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann that SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance spacecraft is ‘Go’ for launch! Weather looks good and we remain on target for a noon EDT launch today.

In about 50 minutes, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with Endurance atop, will lift off from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida for NASA’s Space X Crew-5 mission.

The mission is the fifth crew rotation flight of a Dragon spacecraft, carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.

The crew will dock Endurance to the forward port on the Harmony module of the International Space Station about 29 hours after liftoff. Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at 4:57 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6.

Later this month, the four SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts currently on the space station will enter the Dragon Freedom spacecraft and undock from Harmony’s space-facing port for a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. Freedom Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, with Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, have been living and working on the orbital lab as Expedition 67 Flight Engineers since April 27.

Crew-5 is scheduled for a long duration stay of up to six months aboard the space station conducting science and maintenance before returning to Earth in the spring of 2023.