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 45 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.
Coming up soon, technicians will close the hatch to the Dragon, sealing the astronauts inside for their historic journey to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. About 45 minutes prior to the targeted liftoff, the SpaceX launch director will conduct a poll of NASA and SpaceX mission managers to see if they are ready for launch.
With a successful “Go for launch” decision, the crew access arm will be retracted, the crew will close their visors, the launch escape system will be activated in the event of a contingency, and SpaceX will begin loading propellant into the Falcon 9 rocket for launch.
The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and Mission Specialists JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Launch is targeted for noon EDT today from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida.
Follow along here on the blog or tune in to the live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Crew-5 crew members are now boarding the Dragon spacecraft, Endurance. As the crewmates board, their seats are configured in the upright position; later, prior to closure of the spacecraft’s side hatch, the seats will be rotated into a reclined position for flight.
All four crew members signed the inside of the White Room, an area at the end of the crew access arm that provides access to the spacecraft. The term “White Room” dates back to the Gemini program. To honor tradition, the room is still painted white today.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crew members just walked out of the double doors below Kennedy Space Center’s 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.
Crew-5 astronauts will conduct new scientific research, including cardiac experiments to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth. Experiments include studies on printing human organs in space, understanding fuel systems operating on the Moon, and better understanding heart disease.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Heart stem cells could provide a sustainable source of cells to treat heart disease and act as a cell source for drug discovery and safety testing back on Earth. Microgravity may hold the key to increasing stem cell production, improving cell viability, and accelerating the maturation of heart stem cells.
The Project EAGLE investigation will study how spaceflight affects properties of heart muscle cells derived from stem cells in an effort to establish a functional heart tissue model that mimics heart disease and can be used to test new drugs.
As we design space systems such as lunar rovers, life support systems, and fuel tanks to support future exploration missions, it is critical to understand and be able to predict how liquids behave in low-gravity environments. The Liquid Behavior investigation will study how liquids move in a container in simulated lunar gravity to generate data that can be used to improve lunar rover designs.
These are just some of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during the Crew-5 mission.
Stay with us as the countdown continues; we’ll keep you updated on the key milestones throughout this important mission. Starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT, there will be a live broadcast on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 flight crew has reported to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to start final preparations for liftoff of the mission to the International Space Station.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at the Launch and Landing Facility at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 1, after departing Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
The Crew-5 crew will call the Astronaut Crew Quarters at Kennedy home before the Crew-5 launch – targeted for noon EDT Wednesday, Oct. 5, from the spaceport’s Launch Complex 39A.
“It is always great to come back to Florida, but it’s really great to welcome Crew-5,” said NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, who, along with Kennedy Director Janet Petro, was there to greet the crew members as they exited the aircraft. A veteran of four spaceflights, Cabana served as Kennedy’s director for more than a decade.
The crew members are slated to lift off from Kennedy aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance – carried by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket – for a science expedition mission to the space station. The spacecraft will dock to the forward port on the station’s Harmony module about 22 hours later.
“It’s time to get to work. Nobody does this alone, and we have thousands of people around the globe we need to thank for getting us to this spot,” Cassada said during the crew arrival media event. “This is a remarkable opportunity for all of us. We have trained and prepared for years for this.”
The mission marks the fifth spaceflight for Wakata; it is the first spaceflight for Mann, Cassada, and Kikina. Crew-5 marks another important first, as Mann will become the first Native American woman in space.
“I am very proud to represent Native Americans and my heritage. I think it’s important to celebrate our diversity and also realize how important it is when we collaborate and unite, the incredible accomplishments that we can have,” Mann said.
“We hope that this will inspire young children throughout the world who come from varying backgrounds; in fact, I hope it inspires adults as well – to follow your dreams, to realize the limitations we had in the past are starting to be broken down and we’re able to achieve things when we work together that perhaps were not possible long ago,” Mann added.
Crew-5 crewmates will participate in a handover ceremony with astronauts from NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Following the handover period, Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and mission specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti will depart the space station for a splashdown off the coast of Florida.
The crew has safely landed at the Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Touchdown was at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT.
NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and Kennedy Director Janet Petro were there to greet the crew as they exited the aircraft in the following order: NASA astronaut Josh Cassada, pilot; NASA astronaut Nicole Mann, commander; JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina.
Tune in to NASA TV or the agency’s website to view the media event, which has begun.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 crewmembers have departed Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and are en route to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann, commander; Josh Cassada, pilot; and mission specialists Koichi Wakata, of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina will arrive at approximately 12:15 p.m. EDT today, Oct. 1, to the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy. Upon arrival, they will be greeted by NASA leaders before conducting a brief interview with media.
Mann, Cassada, Wakata, and Kikina are slated to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A at noon EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 5 – aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Endurance, carried by a Falcon 9 rocket – for a science expedition mission to the International Space Station.
NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:23 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Oct. 4, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station with a backup opportunity on Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Mission teams will continue to monitor the impacts of Ian on the Space Coast and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and could adjust the launch date again, as necessary. More updates on the planning schedule, including crew arrival from the agency’s Johnson Space Center to Kennedy, will be provided more in the coming days. Based on current schedules, crew arrival is planned no earlier than Friday, Sept. 30. The safety of the crew, ground teams, and hardware are the utmost importance to NASA and SpaceX.
The Dragon Endurance spacecraft is currently mated to the Falcon 9 rocket and safely secured inside SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A. Kennedy Space Center is also making preparations across the spaceport to secure other property and infrastructure. After the storm progresses, teams from NASA and SpaceX will evaluate the potential impacts to the center and determine whether to adjust the mission timeline further.
Undocking of the agency’s Crew-4 mission from the space station will move day-for-day along with the Crew-5 launch date to allow a planned five-day direct handover between crews.
The Crew-5 flight will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.
NASA will host a Flight Readiness Review (FRR) media teleconference on Monday, Sept. 26, in preparation for the fifth crew rotation mission with SpaceX as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
NASA and SpaceX continue to target no earlier than 12:46 p.m. EDT, Monday, Oct. 3, for launch of the agency’s Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission will carry NASA astronauts Nicole Aunapu Mann and Josh Cassada, who will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, who will serve as mission specialists.
These crewmates will travel to the space station for a six-month science and technology research mission. Plans also continue to return NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts following a short handover on the space station with Crew-5.
Today’s FRR starts at approximately 4:30 p.m. EDT and includes the following participants:
Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA Kennedy
Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Emily Nelson, chief flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, NASA Johnson
William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
Sergei Krikalev, executive director, Human Space Flight Programs, Roscosmos