NASA, SpaceX readies Crew 7 for launch to the International Space Station

Crew Dragon Endurance prior to lift-off at LC-39A (Credit SpaceX)

NASA and SpaceX are set to launch Crew 7 to the International Space Station early Saturday morning, with lift-off scheduled for 3:27 a.m. ET (07:27 UTC) from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA and SpaceX held off on the first attempt just prior to crew walkout in order to “reconfirm required factors of safety and operational margin on one of Dragon spacecraft’s environmental control and life support system (ECLSS) components.” NASA stated all valves on the Crew 6 and 7 Dragon capsules are performing normally.

Crew 7’s ride to the Space Station will be Crew Dragon Endurance and Falcon 9 Booster 1081. The trip will take about a day, with docking scheduled at 8:50 a.m. ET on the 27th.

Crew 7 consists of 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).

The crew will walk out three and a half hours prior to launch from the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building and take a ride in specially modified Tesla Model X’s to LC-39A and then ride the elevator up the launch tower, where they will make a phone call to loved ones before boarding Endurance.

Once strapped into their seats, the SpaceX team will clear the vehicle and close the hatch. The launch abort system will be armed at t-minus 36 minutes, followed shortly by fueling the 1st and 2nd stages.

After lift-off, the first and second stages will separate, and Booster 1081 will perform a boostback burn to land back at Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. During the landing process, the second stage will continue to orbit with an engine burn about 6 minutes long before entering a short coast phase and then separation of 2nd stage and Crew Dragon Endurance.

Once docked with the ISS, the crew will stay approximately six months aboard the orbiting outpost conducting experiments and maintenance.

The current weather outlook is positive, with a 95% chance of acceptable weather.

The launch webcast will begin 4 hours prior to launch.

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NASA, SpaceX readies Crew 7 for launch to the International Space Station
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