NASA and SpaceX are moving closer to the launch of Crew 7 to the International Space Station as Crew Dragon has arrived at Launch Complex 39A to be attached to the Falcon 9 second stage.
The launch is currently scheduled just one week from now, on August 25th, and is scheduled for 3:49 a.m. ET (07:49 UTC). The Crew has already begun their quarantine to ensure they don’t get sick or bring any illnesses up to the Space Station and are scheduled to arrive in Florida on August 20th.
Crew-7’s Dragon arrived at Pad 39A in Florida ahead of its third mission to the @space_station. As teams prepare to launch Crew-7 and safely bring Crew-6 home, the Crew-8 astronauts completed their first week of training in California pic.twitter.com/BpEc6k6ZSj
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) August 17, 2023
This will be the 3rd flight for Crew Dragon Endurance after previously launching the Crew 3 and Crew 5 missions to the International Space Station. A few more tasks need to be completed before launch, such as attaching the solar panels to the trunk, which provides power to the capsule, it also serves as an extra storage area but is not usually used during crew missions.
Crew 7 will feature NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli (Mission Commander), European Spacey Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen (Pilot), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa (Mission Specialist), and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov (Mission Specialist).
After launching from Kennedy Space Center, the Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to dock with the Space Station ~23 hours later on Saturday, August 26th.
As for the Falcon 9 launching Crew 7, it’ll be a rookie, Booster 1081. B1081 went through a full-duration static fire test campaign at the McGregor Test Facility in Texas before arriving in Florida. Usually, SpaceX will complete another much shorter static fire at Launch Complex 39A a couple of days before launch, especially for a crewed mission to ensure the booster performs nominally during launch.
If this launch isn’t delayed, SpaceX could launch 3 Falcon 9 rockets next week.