SpaceX's Crew Dragon Lifts Off for Its First Operational Mission to ISS

Rodiano Bonacci
Novembre 16, 2020

It marks an official return of US human spaceflight capabilities, and should hopefully become the first in many human flight missions undertaken by SpaceX and Dragon - across both NASA flights, and those organized by commercial customers. This is the first crew rotation mission to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of NASA's Commercial Crew program.

Victor Glover will be aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket when it launches from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 3:27 p.m.

Nine minutes later, the first stage successfully landed on SpaceX' drone ship "Just Read the Instructions" in the Atlantic Ocean, NASA said.

NASA and aerospace company SpaceX are preparing to blast off into space this weekend with a historic launch, marking SpaceX's first fully operational spaceflight with a full crew.

The Pences left Washington Sunday afternoon after the launch was delayed by a day and SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk was sidelined thanks to the coronavirus.

SpaceX's human launch program was developed under the Commercial Crew program, which saw NASA select two private companies to build astronaut launch systems for carrying astronauts to the ISS from USA soil.

The crew for the historic launch includes a Space Force colonel, a Black pilot leaving Earth for the first time, a woman who has logged almost 4,000 hours in space and a Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut. She went back to working at NASA's Houston facilities in 2004 when she was selected for astronaut training.

Crew-1 suited up in the Crew Dragon Capsule "Resilience".

Musk remained upbeat. "Astronaut launch today!" he tweeted earlier Sunday, adding that he had symptoms last week of a minor cold but now felt "pretty normal". SpaceX changed that with the Crew Dragon's inaugural crewed flight over the summer. They stayed for roughly two months before returning to earth and splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico in early August. Anyone with questions, thoughts, and experiences of NASA and SpaceX's launch may find answers or score a mention with the hashtag.

Currently, the chances for liftoff tonight are "50/50" per the Launch Mission Execution Forecast, with primary concerns consisting of, "Cumulus cloud rule, flight through precipitation, and Surface Electric Field Rule".

We can also add to the fun with a specially-made Instagram filter, which virtually places users in NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

If there's any hesitation from the crew about the risky adventure of SpaceX's Crew-1 mission, it's well hidden.

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