SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-2 Rocket Launch: How to Watch

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The New York Times 22 April, 2021 - 09:44pm 28 views

What time is the spacex launch?

When is the launch and how can I watch it? The launch is scheduled for Friday at 5:49 a.m. Eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Both NASA and SpaceX will be offering marathon coverage of the mission beginning at 1:30 a.m., from the astronauts' suiting up to the moment they launch. The New York TimesSpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-2 Rocket Launch: How to Watch

What time is the spacex launch tomorrow?

The launch of Crew-2, the 2nd flight of this particular Crew Dragon, is now scheduled for Friday (April 23). The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will blast off at 5:49 a.m EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. EarthSkyWatch rescheduled SpaceX-NASA Crew-2 launch April 23

When is the launch?

Rocket Launch: April 23, 2021 5:49 AM ET | SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-2. In the second crew launch, four astronauts will launch aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station from Kennedy Space Center. kennedyspacecenter.comRocket Launch Schedule

It will be the third flight of the company’s Crew Dragon capsule with people onboard.

For the third time, astronauts are set to hitch a ride on a private rocket to space.

Early on Friday, SpaceX, the rocket company started and run by Elon Musk, is scheduled to launch its latest mission for NASA, carrying two American, one Japanese and one French astronaut to the International Space Station. That will be a continuation of a successful effort by the space agency to turn over to the private sector the business of taking people to low-Earth orbit.

SpaceX conducted a demonstration mission with two NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, a year ago. The two men then splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean in August. They traveled in the same capsule, named Endeavour, that will fly on Friday.

Months later, SpaceX conducted what NASA called the first routine operational missions for the Crew Dragon spacecraft with four astronauts onboard. That mission, Crew-1, launched in November, and the astronauts are still aboard the station.

Now comes the second operational mission, known as Crew-2.

The launch is scheduled for Friday at 5:49 a.m. Eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Both NASA and SpaceX will be offering marathon coverage of the mission beginning at 1:30 a.m., from the astronauts’ suiting up to the moment they launch.

The Crew-2 launch had been set for Thursday morning, and weather at the launchpad was favorable. But mission managers had to also take into account conditions in the Atlantic Ocean where the Crew Dragon capsule would splash down if something went wrong during launch. There, NASA and SpaceX decided, the winds and waves were too high.

The weather report for Friday morning foresees a 90 percent chance of favorable conditions at the Kennedy Space Center. Conditions in the Atlantic are predicted to be better than on Thursday.

Hours before the launch, the astronauts start to get into their trademark SpaceX spacesuits with the help of technicians. They then bid farewell to their families and head out to the launchpad in Tesla Model X S.U.V.s. (A bit of cross-marketing between SpaceX and Tesla, both run by Mr. Musk.)

After they arrive at the launchpad, the astronauts board the capsule and spend hours working with mission control to confirm that its systems are ready for flight.

The launch is timed to when the space station’s orbit passes over Florida. When the capsule reaches orbit, it will be directly behind the space station but traveling faster in a lower orbit. That allows the Crew Dragon to catch up for docking at 5:10 a.m. on Saturday.

During their 23-some hours in flight, the astronauts will change out of their spacesuits, eat a meal or two, rest and provide updates to mission control.

Once the capsule docks with the station — an automated process — it then takes a couple of hours of checking to make sure there are no air leaks before the hatches open and the Crew-2 astronauts disembark.

Akihiko Hoshide of JAXA, the Japanese space agency. Mr. Hoshide, 52, has made two previous trips to space. He was a member of the crew of the space shuttle Discovery in 2008, and in 2012 he spent four months on the space station.

Shane Kimbrough of NASA. Mr. Kimbrough, 53, is the commander of Crew-2. He has made two previous trips to space, once on the space shuttle Endeavour in 2008 and then spending more than six months on the space station from October 2016 to April 2017.

K. Megan McArthur of NASA. Dr. McArthur, 49, flew on the space shuttle Atlantis in May 2009 on the last mission to refurbish and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. During that mission, Dr. McArthur, an oceanographer by training, operated the shuttle’s robotic arm to grab the telescope and place it in the cargo bay.

Dr. McArthur is married to Bob Behnken, one of the astronauts who traveled on the first astronaut flight of the same SpaceX capsule last year. She will sit in the seat he occupied during that flight.

Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. Mr. Pesquet, 43, previously spent six months on the space station from November 2016 to June 2017, overlapping with Mr. Kimbrough for most of his stay. He is from France.

Read full article at The New York Times

Bad offshore weather delays SpaceX crew launch until Friday

WATE 6 On Your Side 23 April, 2021 - 12:00am

SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, 4 astronauts bound for space station

CBS News 22 April, 2021 - 12:58pm

Liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center is targeted for 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, setting up an automated rendezvous and docking at the space station early Saturday. 

The SpaceX "Crew-2" flight will mark only the third launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil since the space shuttle's retirement 10 years ago. It is the second operational flight under NASA's Commercial Crew Program and the first to use a previously-flown first stage booster and a refurbished Crew Dragon capsule making its second flight.

The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are central to NASA's goal of ending the agency's sole reliance on Russia to ferry astronauts to and from the station aboard Soyuz spacecraft at up to $90 million a seat. And reusability "absolutely lowers cost," NASA's acting administrator, Steve Jurczyk, told CBS News.

"We went through a pretty exhaustive process with SpaceX to look at what we needed to refurbish on those systems, and go through (the) engineering reviews to make sure they're safe to fly. And I think the team did an awesome job."

Commander Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japanese flier Akihiko Hoshide had planned to take off Thursday, but predicted high winds and rough seas along the Crew Dragon's northeasterly flight path prompted mission managers Wednesday to order a 24-hour delay.

The weather was, in fact, no-go Thursday, but the forecast for Friday called for a 90% chance of good conditions at the launch site and moderate winds and waves off shore along a track from Florida's east coast to the north Atlantic Ocean where the crew could be forced to ditch in a launch emergency.

But if all goes well as expected, the Crew Dragon capsule, which carried McArthur's husband, astronaut Bob Behnken, into orbit last May, will be released into orbit to fly on its own about 12 minutes after liftoff.

Kimbrough and company, all space veterans, will configure the ship for orbital flight and monitor the initial thruster firings in a computer-controlled rendezvous sequence before calling it a day at 2 p.m. Docking at the space station's forward port is expected at 5:10 a.m. Saturday.

Standing by to welcome the Crew-2 astronauts aboard will be Soyuz MS-18/64S commander Oleg Novitskiy, Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, launched to the outpost April 9, and Crew-1 astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. They were launched last November in the first operational flight of a Crew Dragon.

The arrival of the Crew-2 astronauts will briefly boost the lab's crew from seven to 11, two shy of a record set during two shuttle visits during the station's assembly. The outpost has seven sleeping compartments, two in the Russian segment and five used by NASA and partner-agency astronauts.

That will force the Crew-2 astronauts to "camp out" around the station until Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi undock and return to Earth on April 28 to close out a 164-day mission.

"Some of them will be in bunks in the Dragons, we'll have actually two Dragons docked for the first time," Jurczyk said, "and some of them will be camping out in some of the modules. So there will be a little bit of camping going on."

Before departing, space station commander Walker plans to turn the lab over to Hoshide, who will be the astronaut in command during the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

All seven crew members face a particularly busy six months in space with multiple U.S. and Russian spacewalks planned, the arrival of four cargo ships loaded with science gear, crew supplies, spare parts and new roll-out solar array blankets needed to boost the lab's power.

Four NASA-planned spacewalks will be needed to install two sets of IROSA solar blankets and two cosmonaut outings are planned to make connections between the station and a new Russian laboratory module that's scheduled for launch in mid July atop a powerful Proton rocket.

To make way for the new laboratory compartment, the cosmonaut crew plans to jettison the station's Pirs docking and airlock compartment, using an attached Progress supply ship to drive it back into the atmosphere. After the lab module is docked in place of Pirs, Novitskiy, Dubrov and Vande Hei will strap into their Soyuz and fly it to docking at a port on the newly-arrived lab.

The Crew-2 astronauts and the Soyuz MS-18/64S crew will return to Earth in late September and mid October respectively.

Bill Harwood has been covering the U.S. space program full-time since 1984, first as Cape Canaveral bureau chief for United Press International and now as a consultant for CBS News. He covered 129 space shuttle missions, every interplanetary flight since Voyager 2's flyby of Neptune and scores of commercial and military launches. Based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Harwood is a devoted amateur astronomer and co-author of "Comm Check: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia."

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