Postponing the first trip with Crew Dragon from NASA

Katie Ramirez
October 15, 2020

As of the October 10th update from NASA, SpaceX and Space Agency have chose to double and triple-check Crew Dragon's Crew-1 launch in a few weeks to find that a booster engine issue that canceled the recent Falcon 9 satellite launch has no common ground.

NASA's SpaceX Crew-1 mission will launch three NASA astronauts, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)'s mission specialist Soichi Noguchi, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When it was launched, USA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Clover and Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Sochi Nokuchi were on board SpaceX's ISS.

"We have a strong working relationship with our SpaceX partner", said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator of NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

NASA and SpaceX's Crew-1 has been delayed due to "off-nominal" behavior from the Falcon 9. Cassidy and his cosmonaut crew mates are slated to head back to Earth on October 21st, riding inside the Soyuz capsule that brought them to the space station. Cargo Dragon 2 is preparing for its own debut at about the same time as Crew Dragon's operational astronaut launch debut.

The issue surfaced within the gasoline turbines of the launch automobile's Merlin 1D rocket engines.

The issue with the rocket engine will not delay two other upcoming Falcon 9 launches for the space agency that will carry a satellite and supplies to the space station, NASA said.

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The Falcon 9 booster B1061 was launched statically at McGregor, Texas, around April 2020. Since the space shuttle's last flight in 2011, NASA astronauts have only been able to get to the station with the Russian Soyuz rocket. The crew-1 astronauts have named the spacecraft "Resilience" to highlight the dedication and the hard work the team has put in together to demonstrate that if we work together, there is no limit so as to what we can accomplish. During their presence in the orbiting lab, the astronauts of the Crew-1 will get to see many unpiloted aircrafts. Once the mission is completed, the Crew Dragon will undock from the space station with the four astronauts on board and return to Earth.

With the Crew-1 mission now scheduled for later this fall, the astronauts' stay on the ISS will overlap even more with that of the Crew-2 mission, scheduled for spring 2021.

Regardless of nonetheless being a startup, SpaceX has set for itself an aggressive schedule of launch cadences because it competes with greater companies.

The Falcon 9 B1058 and capsule C206 prepare for the launch of the Crew Dragon's first astronauts in May 2020. The capsule is an upgrade to the Cargo Dragon that SpaceX developed for NASA's Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program.

NASA and SpaceX had previously planned to launch Crew-1 in late September, but was again delayed due to 'spacecraft traffic, ' NASA said, as a Russian Soyuz spacecraft is set to launch to the ISS in October.

The event is now 'now targeted for no sooner than early-to-mid November, providing additional time for SpaceX to complete hardware testing and data reviews, ' NASA shared in the Saturday announcement. Boeing plans to launch a follow-up Starliner demo in December.

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