NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test Stacking Up For Launch

Crews raise a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to a vertical position at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.
Crews raise a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to a vertical position at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA, Boeing, and ULA (United Launch Alliance) are readying the rocket that will launch the first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands vertical, awaiting integration with the rocket’s Centaur upper stage and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner after moving inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands vertical, awaiting integration with the rocket’s Centaur upper stage and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner after moving inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

The ULA Atlas V rocket was moved into the company’s Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, which starts the preparations for its stacking operations ahead of NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test.

The rocket’s main stage was transferred from the nearby Advanced Spaceflight Operations Center to the integration facility Wednesday, Feb. 21, where it will await integration with the rocket’s upper Centaur stage and Starliner. The spacecraft will carry NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore to the orbiting laboratory for a short stay of about one to two weeks before returning to a landing site in the southwest United States.

The mission will test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system, including launch, docking, and a return to Earth. After successful completion of the mission, NASA will begin the final process of certifying Starliner and its systems for crewed rotation missions to the space station.

NASA and Boeing are targeting no earlier than late April for launch. Starliner completed two uncrewed flight tests, including Orbital Flight Test-2, which docked to the space station on May 21, 2022, and provided valuable data leading up to its first crewed flight.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.

NASA SpaceX Crew-8 Flight Readiness Review Concludes, Teleconference to Follow

Mission managers with NASA, SpaceX, and international partners gather on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to complete a Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Mission managers with NASA, SpaceX, and international partners gather on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to complete a Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The Flight Readiness Review (FRR) for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a planned liftoff at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 7:30 p.m. EST to discuss the outcome of the review. Listen live on NASA’s website.

Participants in the teleconference are:

  • Ken Bowersox, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Emily Nelson, chief flight director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • William Gerstenmaier, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
  • Eric van der Wal, Houston office team leader, ESA (European Space Agency)
  • Takayoshi Nishikawa, director, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Houston Office

Later tonight, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, will roll out to the pad at Launch Complex 39A. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, the crew will participate in a rehearsal of launch day activities ahead of an integrated static fire test in preparation for liftoff.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist, will fly to the International Space Station aboard the Dragon spacecraft. As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-8 marks the ninth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft and the eighth crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Astronauts Touch Down at Florida Spaceport

Crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station stand before members of the news media at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024.
Crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, Matthew Dominick, and Michael Barratt, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, stand before members of the news media at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. The Crew-8 mission is slated to launch aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, powered by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, 2024. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

After departing via Gulfstream jet aircraft from Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin just landed at the Launch and Landing Facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew will begin final preparations for liftoff to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission.

Crew-8 astronauts will be greeted shortly by NASA leaders for a brief welcome ceremony and media event, scheduled for about 2 p.m. EST with the following participants:

  • Jennifer Kunz, associate director, NASA Kennedy
  • Dana Hutcherson, deputy program manager, Commercial Crew Program
  • NASA astronaut Matthew Dominick
  • NASA astronaut Michael Barratt
  • NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps
  • Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin

The event is scheduled to be streamed live on Kennedy’s YouTube, X, and Facebook accounts.

Crew-8 astronauts are scheduled to launch to the space station at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The crew will spend several months living and working aboard the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth in the fall of 2024.

This is the eighth crew rotation flight and the ninth human spaceflight mission on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station for CCP. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 Astronauts Depart Houston for Florida

Members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 from right to left, NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist; will launch to the International Space Station no earlier than 12:04 a.m. EST Friday, March 1, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: SpaceX

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 crew members are en route to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin final launch preparations.

Crew-8 crewmates NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; Jeanette Epps, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, mission specialist, departed by plane from Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for the short flight to the Florida spaceport. The crew is expected to arrive at Kennedy’s Launch and Landing Facility this afternoon.

Crew-8 astronauts will be greeted upon their arrival by leaders from NASA for a brief welcome ceremony targeted for approximately 2 p.m. EST. The event is scheduled to stream live, if weather permits, on Kennedy’s YouTube, X, and Facebook accounts.

Meanwhile, NASA, SpaceX, and international partner representatives have gathered at Kennedy to participate in the agency’s Flight Readiness Review, which focuses on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the space station, and its international partners to support the launch of Crew-8 and return of Crew-7. A teleconference is planned for later today, approximately one hour after the conclusion of the review. Be sure to follow along on our blog; additional details will be provided as the day progresses.

SpaceX Crew-8 is targeted to launch at 12:04 a.m. EST on Friday, March 1, to the International Space Station.

NASA, SpaceX Target Late February for Crew-8 Launch to Station

Official SpaceX Crew-8 portrait with Roscosmos cosmonaut and Mission Specialist Aleksandr Grebenkin, and Pilot Michael Barratt, Commander Matthew Dominick, and Mission Specialist Jeanette Epps, all three NASA astronauts. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than 12:49 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 28, for the launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station. The launch of Crew-8 was adjusted to deconflict operations with Intuitive Machines’ IM-1, the company’s first lunar lander mission to the Moon as part NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, currently targeted for Wednesday, Feb. 14. NASA and SpaceX will continue to assess Crew-8 readiness and may adjust the Crew-8 launch date following a successful IM-1 launch.

“The Commercial Crew Program has been following along with the IM-1 mission preparations, and we are wishing the Intuitive Machines and SpaceX teams all the best ahead of this extremely complex mission to the lunar surface,” said Steve Stich, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, Michael Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin will lift off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to perform research, technology demonstrations, and maintenance activities aboard the space station. Crew-8 is the eighth crew rotation mission with SpaceX to station, and the ninth human spaceflight as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blogX, and Facebook.

NASA, SpaceX Target NET Feb. 22 to Launch Crew-8

Official SpaceX Crew-8 portrait with Roscosmos cosmonaut and Mission Specialist Aleksandr Grebenkin, and Pilot Michael Barratt, Commander Matthew Dominick, and Mission Specialist Jeanette Epps, all three NASA astronauts. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Thursday, Feb. 22, for the launch of the agency’s Crew-8 mission to the International Space Station. Crew-8 hardware and ground systems processing continues for the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket as operations teams recently completed critical crew trainings in preparation for launch.

NASA astronauts Matthew Dominick, commander; Michael Barratt, pilot; and mission specialist Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut mission specialist Alexander Grebenkin will travel to the orbiting laboratory aboard Crew-8 to begin a stay of about six months that will include research and operational tasks.

Crew-8 will fly to the space station aboard the Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour, currently undergoing refurbishment for its fifth flight. The Dragon spacecraft previously supported NASA’s Demo-2, Crew-2, and Crew-6, as well as Axiom Space’s Axiom Mission 1 flights to and from the orbiting laboratory. As part of the refurbishment process, teams have installed new components such as the heatshield, parachutes, pod panels, Draco engines, and nosecone.

SpaceX recently completed Dragon’s propulsion system checkouts at the company’s processing facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Teams soon will stack Dragon on its trunk ahead of transporting the spacecraft to SpaceX’s hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the rocket.

Meanwhile, teams also are preparing the Falcon 9 booster that will be making its first flight on Crew-8. The booster recently completed stage testing and will undergo final assembly in the SpaceX hangar at Launch Complex 39A ahead of the Dragon and Falcon 9 mate. Once all rocket and spacecraft system checkouts are complete, the integrated stack will be rolled to the pad and raised to vertical for a static fire test prior to launch.

As part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, Crew-8 is the ninth human spaceflight mission supported by a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and the eighth crew rotation mission to the space station since 2020 for NASA.

Follow the commercial crew blog for the latest information on Crew-8 progress and flight readiness as reviews and milestones continue. Details about the mission and NASA’s Commercial Crew Program can be found by following the Crew-8 blog, the commercial crew blog, X, and Facebook.

Weather Perfect for NASA’s SpaceX Launch from Kennedy

SpaceX's 29th commercial resupply services contract mission launch from Kennedy Space Center
SpaceX’s 29th commercial resupply services mission for NASA will carry scientific research, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware to the International Space Station. Liftoff from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 8:28 EST tonight. Photo credit: NASA

Meteorologists with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron are calling for 100% favorable weather conditions for launch of tonight’s SpaceX 29th commercial resupply services mission for NASA to the International Space Station.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft atop, is targeted to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A. The instantaneous launch window is at 8:28 p.m. EST.

Our live broadcast begins at 8 p.m. – watch on NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and on the agency’s website, or get live updates here on the blog.

NASA’s SpaceX’s CRS-29 Launch Readiness Review Complete, Prelaunch News Conference Next

Teams with NASA and SpaceX completed the final major review before launch – the Launch Readiness Review – for the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.

At the conclusion of the review, teams confirmed the target launch time of 8:28 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov 9. Tune in to the agency’s website at 4 p.m. today, Nov. 8, to hear from NASA and SpaceX officials during a prelaunch teleconference.

Participants include:

  • Dana Weigel, deputy program manager, International Space Station Program
  • Meghan Everett, deputy chief scientist, International Space Station Program Research Office
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  • Melody Lovin, launch weather officer, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft will lift off from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida to deliver more than 6,500 pounds of crew supplies, equipment, and science experiments to the orbiting laboratory.

Weather officials with Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s 45th Weather Squadron are currently predicting a 95% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The primary weather concern is the cumulus cloud rule.

Let people know you’re following the mission on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtags #Dragon and #CRS29. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts:

X: @NASA, @NASAKennedy, @NASASocial, @Space_Station, @ISS_Research, @ISS National Lab
Facebook: NASANASAKennedyISSISS National Lab
Instagram: @NASA, @NASAKennedy, @ISS, @ISSNationalLab

NASA, SpaceX Now Targeting Nov. 9 for Launch

NASA's SpaceX 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission launch to the International Space Station
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft atop, lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 5, 2023, on the company’s 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission for the agency to the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX are targeting 8:28 p.m. EST. Thursday, Nov. 9, for launch of the 29th commercial resupply services mission. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 8:28 p.m. EST, Thursday, Nov. 9, for launch of the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station. The additional time allows for completion of final prelaunch closeout ahead of liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

To read more in depth about the new launch date, as well as an update about NASA astronauts’ latest spacewalk, click here.

Packed with more than 6,500 pounds of cargo, SpaceX’s Dragon will deliver scientific research, technology demonstrations, crew supplies, and hardware to the space station to support its Expedition 70 crew, including NASA’s Integrated Laser Communications Relay Demonstration Low Earth Orbit User Modem and Amplifier Terminal (ILLUMA-T) and Atmospheric Waves Experiment (AWE).

The spacecraft is expected to spend about one month attached to the orbiting laboratory before it returns to Earth with research and about 3,800 pounds of return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

NASA Releases Exciting New App

NASA is making it easier for the public to spot the International Space Station and expanding access to news and resources about the microgravity laboratory with a new Spot the Station mobile app. The mobile app is available to download now on iOS and Android.

The app builds on the agency’s Spot the Station website by providing additional capabilities and information to enhance the station sighting experience for the public. An augmented reality interface makes it easier for users to locate the station and provides options for capturing and sharing pictures and videos of their sightings in real-time.

Click here to read the complete release.

NASA Sets Coverage for Next SpaceX Resupply Launch to Space Station

NASA"s SpaceX 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission launch
Shown here is a composite view of the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft, as it soars upward after liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 5, 2023, on the company’s 28th Commercial Resupply Services mission for the agency to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

NASA and SpaceX are targeting 9:16 p.m. EST Tuesday, Nov. 7, to launch the company’s 29th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Live launch coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and on the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Monday, Nov. 6. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms.

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft will deliver new science investigations, food, supplies, and equipment to the international crew, including NASA’s AWE (Atmospheric Waves Experiment), which studies atmospheric gravity waves to understand the flow of energy through Earth’s upper atmosphere and space.

Arrival to the station is planned for shortly before 12 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9. The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will dock autonomously to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module.

The spacecraft is expected to spend about a month attached to the orbital outpost before it returns to Earth with research and return cargo, splashing down off the coast of Florida.

The deadline has passed for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch. The agency’s media accreditation policy is available online. More information about media accreditation is available by emailing:
ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov.

Click here to read the full media advisory.