SpaceX Crew-1

SpaceX Crew-1
SpaceX Crew-1 Launch (NHQ202011150029).jpg
Falcon 9 with Resilience launches from LC-39A
Names USCV-1, Crew-1
Mission type ISS crew transport
Operator SpaceX
COSPAR ID 2020-084A
SATCAT no. 46920
Mission duration 19 days (in progress)
~180 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft Dragon C207 Resilience
Manufacturer SpaceX
Crew
Crew size 4
Members
Expedition Expedition 64
Start of mission
Launch date 16 November 2020,
00:27:17 UTC [1]
Rocket Falcon 9 Block 5
Launch site KSC, LC-39A
Contractor SpaceX
End of mission
Landing date May 2021 (planned)
Landing site Atlantic Ocean
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric orbit
Regime Low Earth orbit
Inclination 51.66°
Docking with ISS
Docking port Harmony Forward
Docking date 17 November 2020, 04:01 UTC [2]
Undocking date May 2021 (planned)
Time docked 17 days (in progress)
180 days (planned)
SpaceX Crew-1 logo.svg
SpaceX Crew-1 logo
SpaceX Crew-1 Commercial Crew Portrait.jpg
(l-r) Walker, Glover, Hopkins and Noguchi  

SpaceX Crew-1[3][4] (also known as USCV-1 or simply Crew-1)[5] is the first operational[a] crewed flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. It is also the first crewed night launch by the United States since that of STS-130 in February 2010. The Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience launched on 16 November 2020 at 00:27:17 UTC[6][b] on a Falcon 9 from the Kennedy Space Center, LC-39A, carrying NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, all members of the Expedition 64 crew.[7][8] The mission is the second overall crewed orbital flight of the Crew Dragon.[9]

Crew-1 is the first operational mission to the International Space Station in the Commercial Crew Program. Originally designated "USCV-1" by NASA in 2012, the launch date was delayed several times from the original date of November 2016.[10] The mission is expected to last 180 days, meaning the flight will return to Earth sometime around May 2021.[3] Resilience is expected to return to Earth via splashdown[11] for reuse for another future mission.

Background

The first operational mission in the Commercial Crew Program, originally designated "USCV-1" (United States Crew Vehicle, mission 1) by NASA, was initially announced in November 2012, with a launch date set for November 2016.[10] In April 2013, it was announced that the launch would be delayed by one year to November 2017.[10] It was then delayed into 2019 and 2020, pending the success of the uncrewed and crewed demonstration missions, respectively. Following the Crew Dragon Demonstration Mission 2, Crew-1 was tentatively scheduled for September 2020; further delays occurred to align with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions and their impact on the schedule of ISS crew rotations and cargo delivery missions,[11] and then again because of concerns about an issue with the gas generators on the Merlin 1D engines.[12]

On 29 September 2020, mission commander Michael Hopkins revealed during a NASA press conference that the capsule's crew had chosen to name it Resilience.[13]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex only allowed a few people to watch the launch in person from the KSC premises.[14]

Crew

NASA astronauts Michael S. Hopkins and Victor J. Glover were announced as the crew on 3 August 2018.[15] JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi and the third NASA astronaut, Shannon Walker, were added on 31 March 2020 to the crew.[16][17][18]

Prime crew
Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Michael S. Hopkins, NASA
Expedition 64
Second spaceflight
Pilot United States Victor J. Glover, NASA
Expedition 64
First spaceflight
Mission Specialist 1 Japan Soichi Noguchi, JAXA
Expedition 64
Third spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2 United States Shannon Walker, NASA
Expedition 64
Second spaceflight
Backup crew
Position Astronaut
Spacecraft commander United States Kjell N. Lindgren, NASA
Mission Specialist 1 Japan Koichi Wakata, JAXA

Preparations

The Falcon 9 for the Crew-1 mission arrived at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on 14 July 2020.[19] Crew Dragon capsule C207 arrived at SpaceX processing facilities in Florida, on 18 August 2020.[20][21] The successful launch of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) on 5 November 2020 was a milestone leading up to the Crew-1 mission. Falcon 9 successfully deployed a GPS navigation satellite (GPS III-04) for the United States Space Force (USSF), confirming that engineers have resolved an issue with Merlin 1D engines that delayed the GPS mission and the Crew-1 flight.[22]

The crew arrived at Kennedy Space Center via a NASA Gulfstream jet on 8 November 2020 at 13:53 UTC. A Flight Readiness Review (FRR) convened by NASA officials was scheduled on 10 November 2020 to discuss unresolved technical issues, review the status of launch preparations, and give approval for teams to proceed with the Crew-1 mission.[22] The Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon are at Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A as of 9 November 2020. NASA officials gave approval on 12 November 2020 for SpaceX to begin regular crew rotation flights to the International Space Station (ISS), signaling a transition from development to operations for the human-rated Crew Dragon spacecraft.[23] The launch vehicle was lifted to its vertical position at the pad for a test firing of its Merlin-1D main engines on 11 November 2020 at 20:49 UTC.[24] A dry dress rehearsal (DDR) on 12 November 2020 saw the crew put on their pressure suits and climb into Resilience.[24] SpaceX ran a launch readiness review (LRR) on 13 November 2020.[25]

Mission

Visiting vehicle launches, arrivals and departures
The crew inside the capsule during the rendezvous process
A window view of Earth from the Dragon 2 capsule during Expedition 64

On 15 November 2020, final pre-launch preparations were completed. The hatch of Crew Dragon Resilience was closed at 22:32 UTC, but was reopened briefly after a slight drop in pressure was noted. Troubleshooting around the hatch seal led to discovery of a small amount of foreign object debris (FOD) in the seal. The hatch was then closed afterward, and mission controllers proceeded with the countdown. No further concerns were noted, and on 16 November 2020 at 00:27:17 UTC, Resilience lifted off successfully. Its Falcon 9 first-stage booster, SN B1061, landed on the autonomous spaceport drone ship Just Read the Instructions.[6] The astronauts entered a stable orbit after about nine minutes. For this mission, the crew had chosen a plush toy of Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian as Zero-G indicator.[26] The crew were awakened on the second day of the flight with Phil Collins's "In the Air Tonight".[27]

Resilience docked to the International Docking Adapter (IDA) on the Harmony module on 17 November 2020 at 04:01 UTC.[2] Over the course of the mission, the four astronauts will live and work alongside the three astronauts of the Soyuz MS-17 mission. Together, the two missions will form ISS Expedition 64. Assuming the regular ISS crew rotation schedule is adhered to, the crew will transfer to Expedition 65 following the departure of Soyuz MS-17, currently scheduled for April 2021.

Timeline

MET Time (EST) Time (UTC) Date (UTC) Event[28]
−7:40:00 11:47:15 AM 16:47:15 15 November
2020
Crew wake
−05:30:00 1:57:15 PM 18:57:15 CE launch readiness briefing
−05:00:00 2:27:15 PM 19:27:15 Launch shift on console
−04:59:59 2:27:16 PM 19:27:16 Dragon IMU align and configure for launch
−04:30:00 2:57:15 PM 19:57:15 Dragon prop pressurization
−04:15:00 3:12:15 PM 20:12:15 Crew weather brief
−04:05:00 3:22:15 PM 20:22:15 Crew handoff
−04:00:00 3:27:15 PM 20:27:15 Suit donning and checkouts
−03:22:00 4:05:15 PM 21:05:15 Crew walk out of Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building
−03:15:00 4:12:15 PM 21:12:15 Crew transportation to Launch Complex 39A
−02:55:00 4:32:15 PM 21:32:15 Crew arrives at pad
−02:35:00 4:52:15 PM 21:52:15 Crew ingress
−02:20:00 5:07:15 PM 22:07:15 Communication check
−02:15:00 5:12:15 PM 22:12:15 Verify ready seat rotation
−02:14:00 5:13:15 PM 22:13:15 Suit leak checks
−01:55:00 5:32:15 PM 22:32:15 Hatch close
−01:10:00 6:17:15 PM 23:17:15 ISS state upload to Dragon
−00:45:00 6:42:15 PM 23:42:15 SpaceX launch director verifies go for propellant load
−00:42:00 6:45:15 PM 23:45:15 Crew access arm retracts
−00:37:00 6:49:15 PM 23:49:15 Dragon launch escape system is armed
−00:35:00 6:52:15 PM 23:52:15 RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene) loading begins; 1st stage LOX (liquid oxygen) loading begins
−00:16:00 7:11:15 PM 00:11:15 16 November
2020
2nd stage LOX loading begins
−00:07:00 7:20:15 PM 00:20:15 Falcon 9 begins engine chill prior to launch
−00:05:00 7:22:15 PM 00:22:15 Dragon transitions to internal power
−00:01:00 7:26:15 PM 00:26:15 Command flight computer to begin final prelaunch checks; propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure begins
−00:00:45 7:26:30 PM 00:26:30 SpaceX launch director verifies go for launch
−00:00:03 7:27:12 PM 00:27:12 Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start
+00:00:00 7:27:17 PM 00:27:17 Liftoff
+00:00:58 7:28:15 PM 00:28:15 Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket)
+00:02:37 7:29:54 PM 00:29:54 1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
+00:02:40 7:29:57 PM 00:29:57 1st and 2nd stages separate
+00:02:48 7:30:05 PM 00:30:05 2nd stage engine starts
+00:07:29 7:34:46 PM 00:34:46 1st stage entry burn
+00:08:50 7:36:07 PM 00:36:07 2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
+00:08:59 7:36:16 PM 00:36:16 1st stage landing burn
+00:09:29 7:36:46 PM 00:36:46 1st stage landing
+00:12:03 7:39:20 PM 00:39:20 Crew Dragon separates from 2nd stage
+00:12:48 7:40:05 PM 00:40:05 Dragon nosecone open sequence begins

See also

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