Astronaut Walkway for SpaceX Crew Dragon Arrives at NASA’s Historic Florida Launch Pad 39A: Photos

Crew
access arm walkway for NASA astronauts boarding commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule
for astronaut flights to the International Space Station arrives atop Launch
Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center- as seen on Aug. 17, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Ken Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     17 Aug 2018

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL- The crew access arm that serves
as the walkway that NASA’s astronauts will soon stride to board the SpaceX Crew
Dragon for its maiden commercial crew flight to the International Space Station
(ISS) – as soon as 2019 – has arrived at NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A at
the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The maiden unpiloted Crew Dragon mission, known as SpaceX
Demo-1,
is currently slated
for Nov. 2018 from seaside pad 39A.

I observed the SpaceX
crew access arm Up Close today, Friday, Aug. 17, from multiple vantage points after
its arrival atop the ramp at pad 39A this week.  

Check out my expanding
gallery of photos here. They have also been featured at this story at
Spaceflight Now
Crew
access arm walkway for NASA astronauts boarding commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule
for astronaut flights to the International Space Station arrives atop Launch
Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center- as seen on Aug. 17, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
The access arms’ arrival marks
a major milestone towards finally launching the first commercial astronaut capsule
by SpaceX.  

Crew
access arm walkway for NASA astronauts boarding commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule
for astronaut flights to the International Space Station arrives atop Launch
Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center- as seen on Aug. 17, 2018. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The Crew Dragon’s development
was funded by NASA to the tune of $2.6 Billion – and will also open a historic new era in space flight with
the debut of the long awaited commercial ‘space taxis’ that promise to
revolutionize human spaceflight as well as significantly drive down the costs. 

Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com




Boeing is also concurrently developing
the Starliner CST-100 crew capsule with NASA funding amounting to $4.2 Billion.

The futuristic, black and white colored and heavily windowed
SpaceX Crew Access Arm arrived at pad 39A this week. The colors match the color
scheme of the suits to be worn by the astronaut crews. 



Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


The lengthy arm was
surrounded by multiple cranes that will be used soon to hoist it in place near
the top of NASA’s shuttle era gantry – named the Fixed Service Structure (FSS).

Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The access arm will next be installed
up high at an attach point with cranes and then undergo a period of extensive and thorough testing to prove
out is safety, reliability and robustness.

The arm with a white room at
the end must be rotated out to meet and snugly fit astride the crew hatch of
the Crew Dragon – that’s bolted in place on top of the SpaceX Falcon 9 carrier
rocket at pad 39A.



Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com


It will be in place for the
first unpiloted SpaceX Crew Dragon mission slated for later this year – as soon
as November 2018.   

In the final hours prior to
launch, astronauts will walk down the walkway to enter the Dragon.



Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com





Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

So pad 39A will make history again when the first commercial
crew mission blasts off as soon as Spring 2019 – and thereby restore America’s
access to space for American astronauts flying on American rockets from
American soil.

And – end US sole reliance on the Russian Soyuz capsule for
rides to space. 









The Crew Access Arm for the Boeing Starliner was installed
a few years ago at Space Launch Complex -41 for launches on the United Launch
Alliance Atlas V.

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com



………….


Ken’s upcoming outreach events/photos for
sale:



Learn more about the upcoming upcoming/recent
NASA/ULA Parker Solar Probe, SpaceX Merah Putih & Telstar 18 & 19
launches, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-15 launch to ISS,  SES-12 comsat launch,
Falcon Heavy, TESS, GOES-S, Bangabandhu-1, NASA missions, ULA Atlas & Delta
launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at Kennedy Space
Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings. 



Aug 24/25: “NASA/ULA Parker Solar Probe launch, SpaceX Merah Putih &
Telstar 18v & 19v Launches, SpaceX Dragon CRS-15 resupply launch to ISS,
SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX SES-12 comsat. ULA Atlas
USAF SBIRS GEO 4 missile warning satellite, SpaceX GovSat-1, CRS-14 resupply
launches to the ISS, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS, Orion, Boeing and SpaceX
Commercial crew capsules, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter, InSight Mars lander,
Curiosity and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto and more,” Kennedy Space
Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for sale









Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.