SpaceX counts down to launch, with France’s Pesquet leading mission to ISS
SpaceX is set to launch its third crew to the International Space Station early Friday, reusing a rocket and crew capsule in a human mission for the first time.
The Crew-2 mission blasts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:49 am Eastern Time (0949 GMT), after being delayed a day by adverse weather along the flight path.
“Our friends on the @Space_Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late. They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed. Such nice hosts!”
It seems the weather is cooperating, so looks like we will try to launch tomorrow!!! Our friends on the @Space_Station are expecting us to show up and we don’t want to be late. They even installed my bedroom recently and literally made my bed 🛏. Such nice hosts! 🙏 #MissionAlpha pic.twitter.com/52X2bhPoTX
— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) April 22, 2021
The extra “bed” is necessary to accommodate an unusually large number of people aboard the ISS: 11 in total, as the Crew-2 team overlaps for a few days with Crew-1 astronauts, in addition to three Russian cosmonauts.
Crew-1 is set to splash down off the Florida cost on April 28.
It is the third time SpaceX will send humans to the ISS as part of its multibillion dollar contract with NASA under the Commercial Crew Program.
The first mission, a test flight called Demo-2, took place last year and ended nine years of American reliance on Russian rockets for rides to the ISS following the end of the Space Shuttle program.
“In terms of getting the operations ready, it’s always easier the third time you do it,” Daniel Forrestel, a NASA launch integration manager, told AFP.
“I would never ever want to describe spaceflight as ‘routine,’ but ‘more familiar’ is a good way to put it,” he added…..read more