SpaceX NASA Launch Time: When to Watch


In Florida on Sunday, a rocket and capsule constructed by SpaceX will carry crew members to the International Space Station. The NASA mission follows on a profitable demonstration of the identical spacecraft that launched in May and returned two astronauts to Earth in August. Here’s what you want to know concerning the launch.

Four astronauts — three from NASA, one from JAXA, the Japanese house company — will probably be sitting inside a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, boosted to orbit on prime of a Falcon 9 rocket. The mission is called Crew-1, and the astronauts named their capsule Resilience. They are headed to the International Space Station for a six-month keep.

This is the primary of what NASA calls “operational” flights of the Crew Dragon. In May, there was an illustration mission, with two NASA astronauts — Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley — aboard. That launch, in a capsule named Endeavour, was the primary time crewed mission had lifted off from the United States to orbit for the reason that retirement of NASA’s house shuttles in 2011. Its return was additionally the primary water touchdown by astronauts aboard an American spacecraft for the reason that Apollo capsules stopped flying within the 1970s.

NASA has been counting on Russian Soyuz rockets to get its astronauts to the house station. That has turn out to be more and more costly, rising to a value of greater than $90 million a seat.

The Crew-1 mission is scheduled to launch on Sunday at 7:27 p.m. Eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA Television will broadcast coverage beginning at 3:15 p.m.

The astronauts will arrive at the space station at about 11 p.m. Eastern on Monday, a journey of approximately 27 hours.

In its latest weather forecast issued on Sunday morning, the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron gives a 50 percent chance of favorable conditions at the launchpad. SpaceX and NASA are also keeping watch farther out in the Atlantic Ocean. The weather and waters there need to be fairly calm in case something goes wrong during the ascent to orbit and the Crew Dragon needs to make an emergency splashdown (adverse weather conditions led to a postponement of the earlier Saturday launch date).

If Sunday’s launch is delayed, there is a backup opportunity on Wednesday.

Michael S. Hopkins, 51, a colonel in the United States Space Force, is the commander for the flight. (Colonel Hopkins is also the first member of the newly created U.S. Space Force to go to space.) He was one of nine astronauts selected by NASA in 2009. He has made one previous trip to the International Space Station, in 2013 and 2014, spending 166 days in orbit.

Shannon Walker, 55, has had one previous stint on the space station, in 2010. Dr. Walker has a doctoral degree in space physics from Rice University, where she studied how the solar wind interacted with the atmosphere of Venus.



Source link Nytimes.com

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