KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Work crews are forging ahead rapidly
with efforts to install the recently arrived Crew Access Arm and White Room high up
the gantry on Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from
which NASA astronauts will soon embark on SpaceX Crew Dragon flights to the
International Space Station (ISS). Its awesome to realize that restoring US human spaceflight is now visibly just around the corner!
Today I observed the truly futuristic looking SpaceX Crew Access Arm and White Room harnessed
for hoisting at Florida’s Spaceport – surrounded by multiple cranes with multiple
teams of work crews toiling – busily preparing the astronaut walkway for craning to
nearly the top of the shuttle era gantry at pad 39A.
gallery of Space Up Close photos here with men and women actively at work – taken
today, Saturday, Aug. 18, as a follow up to my photos from yesterday.
with an apparent peek inside a portion of the White Room which appears to be
open – whereas it appeared to be sealed off yesterday.
was surrounded by multiple smaller cranes and another towering one that dwarfs
all the others and 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). Pad 39A has
been leased by SpaceX for 20 years from NASA.
the terminus of the crew access arm that serves essential as the “Walkway
to the Stars’ that NASA astronauts will soon stride along to board the SpaceX
Crew Dragon for its maiden commercial crew flight to the International Space
Station (ISS) – as soon as 2019.
Demo-1 is currently slated for Nov. 2018 blastoff from seaside pad 39A.
the exterior side of Crew Dragon and the opened crew hatch, Dragon is bolted in place on top of the SpaceX
Falcon 9 carrier rocket at pad 39A.
It provides a clean room, climate-controlled environment for
space suited astronauts climbing aboard the spacecraft and taking their designated
seats aided by ground technicians to assist them comfortably.
earlier views from yesterday, Friday, Aug. 17, in an accompanying story – before
the walkway was slung up. Several have been
featured as well at Spaceflight Now.
Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
taken from multiple vantage points around pad 39A after its arrival atop the
ramp at pad 39A a few days ago.
first unpiloted SpaceX Crew Dragon mission slated for later this year – as soon
as November 2018.
launch, astronauts will walk down the walkway to enter the Dragon.
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
upcoming outreach events/photos for sale:
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,
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