SpaceX and NASA announce new target launch date for Crew-1 Mission

SpaceX and NASA just revised the target launch date for their Crew-1 Mission to the ISS. They are now looking at 2:40 a.m. EDT Saturday, October 31, to launch to the station.

The mission objective is to take the group of four astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA published in its official blog that a new date will help in better coordination between the Crew-1 launch and the launch and arrival landing operations of Soyuz.

The extra time will enable the closure of every work, including on-ground and aboard the station. It will be before SpaceX Crew-1’s arrival.

Additional testing and isolation of the station’s atmosphere can now be done because of increased extra time before the launch.

Moreover, the work and preparations on Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 are being carried out by SpaceX. It will help in completing all open work ahead of the new target launch.

SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Astronauts

The awaited mission will include astronauts Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of NASA, Michael Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will carry them to the International Space Station, on a Falcon 9 rocket. It will take off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission will mark the first time when a NASA-certified and commercially-owned American rocket will carry an international crew aboard.

Duration of the Crew-1 Mission

Once the Crew-1 astronauts reach the International Space Station, they will stay there for six months. There will be a science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory.

It will last for about 210 days and will end around late April in 2021.

Right now, NASA is in the last stage of completing data reviews before the launch. They are required before certification following the SpaceX Demo-two test flight.

Speaking of the mission history than the first operational mission announced in 2012 was the Commercial Crew Program. It was initially designated “USCV-1” by NASA.

The previous launch date expected for November 2016 didn’t happen, unfortunately. Then it was pushed further again three years ago.

This year in mid-August, the new date was set for October 23. Eventually, it’s now updated again. SpaceX and NASA are targeting the launch during Halloween.

Before the flight, all four astronauts will obey the self-quarantine rules. It will prevent any chance of an unwanted COVID case. This rule is also applicable to all the pre-launch assistants. They will go for mandatory quarantine as well.

Image courtesy of L Galbraith/Shutterstock

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