4 Humans Launch on NASA Crew-1 Mission to Space Station Aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Opening New Commercial Era: Photos

4 Humans Launch on NASA Crew-1 Mission to Space Station Aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon Opening New Commercial Era: Photos
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket streaks to orbit carrying the commercial Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi onboard, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in this long duration exposure fisheye lens single image. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL –  A multinational team of four astronauts from the US and Japan is en route to the International Space Station (ISS) on NASA’s Crew-1 mission following a spectacular nighttime launch on the first operational mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Sunday evening, Nov. 15 from historic pad 39A on the Kennedy Space Center – thus opening a new era in regular commercial human spaceflight

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15 (0027 GMT Monday) from Launch Complex 39A on Florida’s Spaceport during an instantaneous launch time.

The stunning SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew Dragon  liftoff took place after threatening weather moved elsewhere in the hours before the appointed time and delighted huge crowds of spectators gathered in parks and beaches ringing the Florida Space Coast who cheered as the rocket rose of the pad.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft blasts off on NASA’s Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi onboard, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

The SpaceX Crew Dragon makes history as the first NASA-certified commercial human spacecraft system ever – and will be followed by regular follow on missions starting next Spring 2021.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Crew Dragon spacecraft and international crew of NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), into orbit to begin a six-month science mission aboard the massive orbiting lab complex.

The crew achieved orbit after separating from the second stage some eight and a half minutes after liftoff.

Continuing weather concerns on and off shore had forced NASA and SpaceX to postpone the historic launch of 4 astronauts on the first operational mission of the Crew Dragon spacecraft by one day from Saturday to Sunday Nov. 15 from the Florida’s spaceport to the ISS – pretty much as expected based on enduring impacts from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Eta.

The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the forward port of the space station’s Harmony module at about 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16 (0400 GMT Tuesday).

“I could not be more proud of the work we’ve done here today,” said Gwynne Shotwell,  president and chief operating officer of SpaceX. “Falcon 9 looked great, Dragon was dropped off into a beautiful orbit about 12 minutes into the mission, and we’ll get more data as we go.”

NASA Television and the agency’s website provided live launch coverage today and will provide continuing live coverage through docking, hatch opening, and the ceremony to welcome the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory Monday evening.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft blasts off on NASA’s Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi onboard, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida – with flames reflecting in the bay waters of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Three of the four Crew-1 team are veteran spaceflyers – namely Hopkins, Walker and Noguchi.

Glover is the only rookie. He is also the first African-American to serve a long duration stint about the station.

Noguchi is only the third person to fly to space on three different types of spaceships during his astronaut career- on the NASA Space Shuttle, the Russian Soyuz and now SpaceX Crew Dragon.

The Crew-1 astronauts have named their Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience – in recognition of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic terribly afflicting the entire world.

To date over 248,ooo Americans have died from infection by the coronavirus.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying commercial SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft blasts off on NASA’s Crew-1 mission to the ISS with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi onboard, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Lens dew flare created this psychedelic effect. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

“Watching this mission launch is a special moment for NASA and our SpaceX team,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

“We are looking forward to getting this crew to station to continue our important work, and I want to thank the teams for the amazing effort to make the next generation of human space transportation possible.”

Here’s a few NASA and SpaceX photos of the space suited crew boarding Crew Dragon after walking down the crew access arm.

 

The four person Crew-1 mission marks a major milestone as the first operational crew rotation mission of a SpaceX Crew Dragon to the ISS and follows the magnificently successful 64 day long Demo-2 flight of two NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley launch on May 30.

The history making Demo-1 marked the resumption of US human spaceflight launching American astronauts from American soil on American rockets aboard the new commercial spaceships pioneered by NASA.

The US has been 100% dependent on the Russians for rides to the ISS since the forced shutdown of NASA’s space shuttles in July 2011.

 

Upon their arrival aboard Resilience, the Crew-1 astronauts will become members of Expedition 64, joining NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, as well as Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos who recently launched on Oct 14 aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule.

 

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine meets the media at the Countdown Clock at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov. 13, 2020 for launch targeted for Nov. 15 on NASA Crew-1 mission to the ISS with 4 astronauts. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Crew-1 mission is the first of six NASA contracted crewed missions for SpaceX that will fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

This mission has several firsts, including:

  • The first flight of the NASA-certified commercial system designed for crew transportation, which moves the system from development into regular flights;
  • The first international crew of four to launch on an American commercial spacecraft;
  • The first time the space station’s long duration expedition crew size will increase from six to seven crew members, which will add to the crew time available for research; and
  • The first time the Federal Aviation Administration has licensed a human orbital spaceflight launch.
NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-1 mission launch on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at 7:27 p.m. EST from Launch Complex 39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Jean Wright/spaceupclose.com

SpaceX successfully recovered the Falcon 9 first stage on the ‘Just Read the Instructions’ droneship stationed some 400 miles downrange in the Atlantic Ocean off the Carolina’s coast

NASA wants to reuse the Falcon 9 first stage on the Crew-2 astronaut mission in Spring 2021.

The booster is equipped with 4 landing legs to accomplish a precision guided rocket assisted descent for propulsive soft touchdown on the SpaceX droneship.

The gumdrop shaped Crew Dragon measures around 13 feet (4 meters) in diameter and 16 feet (5 meters) tall.

 

The path to launch cleared a major milestone when SpaceX engineers successfully completed a crucial static fire test on the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage engines  Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 11  amidst continuing positively gloomy weather from Hurricane/Tropical Storm Eta impacting much of Florida including the Space Coast.

 

SpaceX conducts successful static fire test of Falcon 9 first stage engines at 3:49 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 with exhaust spewing out from the flame trench at Launch Complex-39A on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center – targeted for launch Nov. 15, 2020 at 7:27 p.m. ET. As seen from the Indian River, Titusville, FL. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Follow along with launch activities and get more information about the mission at: http://www.nasa.gov/crew-1. Learn more about commercial crew and space station activities by following: @Commercial_Crew@space_station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the Commercial Crew FacebookISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Watch Ken’s commentary at WFTV ABC 9 Orlando and WESH 2 NBC TV News Orlando about the possible weather impact from Hurricane Eta on the launch and landing

https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/countdown-dress-rehearsal-success-ahead-this-weekends-crewed-launch/RXYO4DZX4VFZXP63DFUTGKLWSU/

 

https://www.wesh.com/article/eta-threatens-astronaut-mission/34647727

Dr. Ken Kremer of Space UpClose provides commentary to WFTV ABC Ch 9 News Orlando about NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 commercial mission to the ISS

 

Watch for Ken’s continuing live and onsite reporting from KSC about the Crew-1 mission.

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Crew Dragon Starlink, Commercial Crew and Artemis and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Demo-2, Starlink, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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

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

Please consider supporting Ken’s work by donating at Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/kenkremer

 

 

Up Close view of SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience integrated atop Falcon 9 rocket and raised vertical atop Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov. 13, 2020 for launch targeted for Nov. 15 on NASA Crew-1 mission to the ISS with 4 astronauts. NASA worm and meatball logos in view. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

 

SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience joined atop Falcon 9 rocket and raised vertical on Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida on Nov. 13, 2020 for launch targeted for Nov. 15 on NASA Crew-1 mission to the ISS with 4 astronauts. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com
Dr. Ken Kremer of Space UpClose sets up remote cameras at Launch Complex 39A at KSC for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 commercial mission to the ISS

 

x

Ken Kremer

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. Required fields are marked *

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