NASA Updates Commercial Crew Flight Manifest to Space Station

NASA meatballNASA and its mission partners are gearing up for a busy 2023 with crew launches and returns from the International Space Station. NASA worked closely with its international partners and commercial crew providers, Boeing and SpaceX, to secure new target launch dates for the upcoming flights that are optimal for space station needs.

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams
NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams pose for a picture during T-38 pre-flight activities at Ellington Field in Houston on Aug. 16, 2022. Photo credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

Starliner Flight Date Targets

NASA and Boeing now are targeting April 2023 for the agency’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), the first flight with astronauts on the company’s CST-100 Starliner. The date adjustment deconflicts visiting spacecraft traffic at the space station as NASA and Boeing work together to achieve flight readiness.

The team continues to make progress toward Starliner’s crewed flight following the successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the space station in May. Starliner and United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket hardware remain on track for readiness in early 2023. The joint team continues to close out the OFT-2 anomalies and partner closely together to identify forward work and ensure all requirements for crewed flight are met. NASA and Boeing currently are working on a variety of verification efforts across several critical systems that will be used for Starliner’s crew flight certification.

For CFT, Boeing recently completed the exterior of the Starliner crew module with the installation of the forward heat shield and entry cover. The previously flown crew module, named Calypso, will be connected to a new service module later this year. Formal qualification testing on the CFT version of Starliner’s flight software was completed last month. NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams, CFT’s commander and pilot, respectively, and Mike Fincke, backup spacecraft test pilot, along with the Boeing team, also successfully completed the crew validation test during which the astronauts suited up and tested out the pressurized crew module to ensure seat fit, suit functionality, cabin temperature, audio system and day of launch operations.

The CFT astronauts will live and work on the space station for about two weeks. Following a successful crewed flight, NASA will work to complete certification of the Starliner spacecraft and systems for regular crew rotation missions to the space station. A launch date for NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission will be determined following a successful flight test with astronauts and close out of the agency’s certification work.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft for NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on Oct. 1, 2022, four days before liftoff of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission. Photo credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

SpaceX Flight Date Targets

NASA and SpaceX are targeting mid-February 2023, for launch of the agency’s Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch Dragon and NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev to the space station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew will spend approximately six months on the space station, starting with a short handover with Crew-5, which arrived at the station in October for a science expedition at the microgravity laboratory.

SpaceX certification and Falcon 9 hardware remain on track for the sixth crew rotation mission of the company’s human space transportation system and its seventh flight with NASA astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, to the space station.

The Crew-6 mission will be Dragon Endeavour’s fourth flight to the space station, which previously supported the Demo-2, Crew-2, and Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) missions, making the spacecraft the fleet leader in number of flights to and from the station. The Dragon spacecraft currently is undergoing refurbishment at SpaceX’s Dragonland facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

NASA and SpaceX also are targeting fall 2023 for launch of the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station, ahead of the return of Crew-6.

Find out more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at:

https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

 

Crew Relaxes Day Before Three Tons of Station Cargo Arrives

The ISS Progress 79 resupply ship is pictured after undocking from the Zvezda service module and departing the vicinity the International Space Station.
The ISS Progress 79 resupply ship is pictured after undocking from the Zvezda service module and departing the vicinity the International Space Station.

The Expedition 67 crew is taking a well-deserved day off following a busy few weeks of commercial crew and private astronaut missions. Meanwhile, the next cargo craft to resupply the International Space Station stands ready to launch from Kazakhstan on Friday morning.

The seven orbital residents are relaxing today following an intense period that saw three different SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicles come and go, as well as the arrival and departure of Boeing’s Starliner crew ship. Axiom Mission 1 arrived first at the station on April 9, aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour for a two-week stay. Following that, Crew-4 docked to the station inside the Dragon Freedom on April 27. On May 5, Crew-3 ended its six-month mission after undocking aboard the Dragon Endurance. Finally, the station crew welcomed NASA’s and Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2 for a five-day mission when it docked on May 20.

Three tons of food, fuel, and supplies are packed inside the Progress 81 cargo craft destined to replenish the station residents on Friday. The Progress is counting down to a liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:32 a.m. on Friday. After just two orbits, the space freighter will approach the Zvezda service module’s rear port for an automated docking at 9:03 a.m. The  Progress 79 cargo craft undocked from Zvezda early Wednesday ending its 214-day stay.

Commander Oleg Artemyev and Flight Engineer Denis Matveev will be on duty Friday morning monitoring the space freighter’s arrival. The duo from Roscosmos has been reviewing approach and rendezvous procedures as well as practicing manual docking techniques with Zvezda’s tele-robotically operated rendezvous unit, or TORU. NASA TV begins its live Progress 81 launch coverage at 5:15 a.m. on NASA’s app and website.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Crew Returns to Space Science Day after Starliner Lands

Boeing's Starliner spacecraft descends to Earth underneath parachutes for a landing in New Mexico completing the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft descends to Earth underneath parachutes for a landing in New Mexico completing the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The seven Expedition 67 crew members are resuming their normal schedule of science and maintenance activities following Wednesday’s departure of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. The orbital residents focused on vein scans, robotics, and a host of other space research onboard the International Space Station today.

NASA and Boeing completed its Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on Wednesday. NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines monitored the crew ship’s arrival last week, conducted cargo and test operations inside the vehicle, then closed the hatch on Tuesday before finally seeing Starliner undock from the Harmony module’s forward port at 2:36 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.

Lindgren started Thursday with a hearing assessment for the Acoustic Diagnostics experiment then setup the Astrobee robotic free-flyers for the Kibo Robot Programming Challenge 3. Hines set up hardware that will measure blood flow in the brain for the Cerebral Autoregulation investigation.

Both astronauts later joined astronauts Jessica Watkins of NASA and Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) for vein scans on Thursday. The quartet used the Ultrasound 2 device to scan each other’s neck, shoulder and leg veins. Doctors on the ground monitored the downlinked biomedical scans in real time to gain insight into how the astronaut’s bodies are adapting to microgravity.

Watkins and Cristoforetti began their day collecting their blood and urine samples, spinning them in a centrifuge, and stowing the samples in a science freezer for future analysis. The duo then joined Lindgren in checking out the U.S. spacesuits.

The station’s three cosmonauts from Roscosmos also contributed to the array of space research taking place today on the orbiting lab. The trio, including Commander Oleg Artemyev, with Flight Engineers Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, took turns exploring ultrasound techniques to improve locating landmarks on Earth for photography. Artemyev also completed a session that monitored his cardiac activity for 24 hours. Matveev assisted Korsakov, attached to a variety of sensors, as he worked out on an exercise cycle for a fitness evaluation.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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Starliner Lands in New Mexico, Completes Station Mission

Boeing's #Starliner crew ship parachutes to a landing in New Mexico completing the company's Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA TV
Boeing’s #Starliner crew ship parachutes to a landing in New Mexico completing the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. Credit: NASA TV

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed its touchdown at 6:49 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner settled gently onto its air bags following a parachute-assisted landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m., separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Starliner Fires Engines, Returning to Earth for Landing

Boeing's Starliner crew ship approaches the space station on the company's Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on May 20, 2022.
Boeing’s Starliner crew ship approaches the space station on the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission on May 20, 2022.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website continue to provide live coverage of the landing of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

At 6:05 p.m. EDT, the spacecraft began its deorbit burn that puts Starliner on the right path to land at 6:49 p.m. White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. The service module has successfully separated from the crew module containing Rosie the rocketeer, an anthropometric test device who will help maintain Starliner’s center of gravity from ascent through landing. During OFT-1, Rosie was outfitted with 15 sensors to collect data on what astronauts will experience during flights on Starliner.

At 6:44 p.m. the drogue parachute will be released, pulling out the spacecraft’s three main parachutes at 6:45 p.m. that will slow the capsule to a safe landing on Earth.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Starliner Nearing Return to Earth

This view from a window on the SpaceX Dragon Freedom crew ship shows Boeing's Starliner crew ship moments away from docking to the station on May 20, 2022.
This view from a window on the SpaceX Dragon Freedom crew ship shows Boeing’s Starliner crew ship moments away from docking to the station on May 20, 2022.

NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website are providing live coverage of the return to Earth for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The uncrewed Starliner is expected to land at 6:49 p.m. EDT White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico.

If all conditions are “go” for Starliner’s return, the deorbit burn will be conducted at 6:05 p.m. Within minutes, the service module will separate from the crew module to prepare for landing at 6:49 p.m.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Starliner Undocks from Station, Heads Toward Earth

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25.

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station’s Harmony module at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25, completing about 5-days attached to the microgravity laboratory as part of its uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2. At undocking, Starliner and the space station were flying over Earth south of Bangkok, Thailand.

Starliner will execute a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, to begin the final phase of its return to Earth, headed for a parachute-assisted landing about 6:49 p.m. at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. Live coverage for the deorbit burn and landing will begin 5:45 p.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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Starliner Prepares to Undock and Head for U.S. Landing

Rosie the Rocketeer, Boeing's anthropometric test device, is pictured in the commander's seat of the company's CST-100 Starliner crew ship for the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission at the International Space Station.
Rosie the Rocketeer, Boeing’s anthropometric test device, is pictured in the commander’s seat of the company’s CST-100 Starliner crew ship for the Orbital Flight Test-2 mission at the International Space Station.

NASA and Boeing are providing live coverage of the undocking of the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft from the International Space Station.

Undocking of the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 is targeted about 2:36 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Starliner will execute a deorbit burn at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, to begin the final phase of its return to Earth, headed for a parachute-assisted landing about 6:49 p.m. at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. Live coverage for the deorbit burn and landing will begin 5:45 p.m.

NASA and Boeing will host a postlanding news conference at 9 p.m. on NASA TV from the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston with:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Starliner launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on a flight test to the International Space Station at 6:54 p.m. Thursday, May 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The uncrewed spacecraft successfully docked to the space station’s Harmony module at 8:28 p.m. Friday, May 20.


More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog, @commercial_crew and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

NASA TV Broadcasts Starliner’s Undocking and Landing on Wednesday

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner crew ship approaches the International Space Station above the south Pacific on May 20, 2022.
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner crew ship approaches the International Space Station above the south Pacific on May 20, 2022.

NASA will provide live coverage of the upcoming return activities for the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2). As part of the uncrewed flight test, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will depart from the International Space Station for a landing in the western United States.

The spacecraft is scheduled to autonomously undock from the space station to begin the journey home at 2:36 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25. NASA and Boeing are targeting 6:49 p.m. for the landing and conclusion of OFT-2, wrapping up a six-day mission testing the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system.

The return and related activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

In advance of Starliner’s return, commercial crew astronauts at the space station will speak with NASA leadership and make farewell remarks prior to closing the hatch to the uncrewed spacecraft.

Teams are targeting White Sands Space Harbor at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico as the primary landing site, with a backup White Sands opportunity Friday, May 27. The spacecraft will return with more than 600 pounds of cargo, including Nitrogen Oxygen Recharge System reusable tanks that provide breathable air to station crew members. The tanks will be refilled on Earth and sent back to station on a future flight.

NASA’s Boeing OFT-2 return coverage on NASA TV is as follows and all times are subject to change based on mission operations (all times are Eastern):

 Tuesday, May 24

12:20 p.m. – NASA Administrator event on Starliner’s flight test with commercial crew astronauts at station

12:55 p.m. – Starliner farewell ceremony

1:30 p.m. – Hatch closure TV coverage begins for 1:55 p.m. hatch closing

 Wednesday, May 25

2 p.m. – TV coverage begins for the 2:36 p.m. undocking. NASA will break coverage after the spacecraft exits joint operations with the space station.

5:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for 6:05 p.m. deorbit burn and 6:49 p.m. landing in the western United States.

9 p.m. – Return to Earth news conference on NASA TV from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston:

  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program
  • Suni Williams, NASA astronaut
  • Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Boeing

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

Crew Works Starliner Operations and Studies Space Biology

The Expedition 67 crew poses together for a portrait during dinner time inside the International Space Station's Unity module.
The Expedition 67 crew poses together for a portrait during dinner time inside the International Space Station’s Unity module.

Two Expedition 67 astronauts are unloading cargo delivered inside Boeing’s Starliner crew ship and testing its systems ahead of its departure this week. Meanwhile, the other residents aboard the International Space Station are juggling advanced space research and orbital lab maintenance.

NASA Flight Engineers Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines have been unpacking some of the 500 pounds of NASA cargo delivered aboard Starliner on Friday. The duo has also been testing the commercial crew vehicle’s communications and power systems.

They will turn their attention on Tuesday to readying Starliner for its undocking and return to Earth on Wednesday. Lindgren and Hines will pack Starliner with 600 pounds of return cargo, close the vehicle’s hatch, and monitor its departure set for 2:36 p.m. EDT on Wednesday. It will parachute to a landing in White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico at 6:49 p.m. (4:49 p.m. Mountain Time) the same day.

Science is always underway on the orbiting lab with the crew exploring a multitude of phenomena to benefit humans living on Earth and in space. Today, NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins attached electrodes to herself and scanned her neck, chest and leg with an Ultrasound device for the Vascular Echo study. The experiment investigates how microgravity affects an astronaut’s arteries and veins with insights possibly improving cardiovascular conditions on Earth.

Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) worked on complex research hardware and supported a space botany experiment on Monday. Cristoforetti replaced a sensor on the Materials Science Laboratory then swapped components inside the DECLIC device that supports fluid and material physics research. She also refilled water and nutrients in the XROOTS facility that explores growing plants in space using hydroponics and aeroponics.

Over in the station’s Russian segment, Commander Oleg Artemyev checked thermal control system pipes then serviced the Elektron oxygen generator. He also joined Flight Engineer Denis Matveev and tested communication systems aboard the ISS Progress 79 cargo craft. Matveev also installed radiation detectors then unpacked cargo from the inside the ISS Progress 80 resupply ship. Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov worked on ventilation and orbital systems then set up gear for the future installation of a glovebox facility inside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

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