For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – Continuing weather concerns on and off shore have 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 International Space Station (ISS) for six month science mission – pretty much as expected based on enduring impacts from Tropical Storm Eta.
However the weather forecast remains iffy at best on Sunday with only a 50% chance of acceptable conditions at launch time
The 24 hour delay was announced by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Friday afternoon, Nov. 13 shortly before the successful liftoff of the ULA Atlas V delivering the clandestine NROL-101 spysat spacecraft to orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office from adjacent seaside Space launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT) under a mix of clear and lingering cloudy skies.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-1 mission aboard Crew Dragon spacecraft from KSC Launch Complex 39A is retargeted for 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15 (0027 GMT Monday) during an instantaneous launch time.
“Update: Due to onshore winds and recovery operations, @NASA and @SpaceX are targeting launch of the Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the @Space_Station at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15. The first stage booster is planned to be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2. #LaunchAmerica,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted on Friday, Nov. 13.
Update: Due to onshore winds and recovery operations, @NASA and @SpaceX are targeting launch of the Crew-1 mission with astronauts to the @Space_Station at 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15. The first stage booster is planned to be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2. #LaunchAmerica
— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) November 13, 2020
Enjoy my Up Close photos of SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience bolted atop Falcon 9 rocket taken for Space UpClose during our media remote camera setup on Friday, Nov. 13.
The multinational Crew-1 team of NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), landed via plane at the Launch and Landing Facility at Kennedy at 1:45 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 8 after departing earlier Sunday from Ellington Field near the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
They have been in final training ever since including a dry dress rehearsal on Friday involving a full countdown test minus loading the propellants
Teams from NASA and SpaceX completed the final major review Friday for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission to the ISS .
“At the conclusion of the review, NASA and SpaceX agreed to target launch for 7:27 p.m. EST Sunday, Nov. 15, due to onshore winds and first stage booster recovery readiness.
The winds could push the Crew Dragon on shore in case of a pad abort.
And recovery conditions for the Falcon 9 1st stage were not acceptable at sea on the droneship platform due to Eta.
NASA and SpaceX want to recover the first stage for use for launch of the Crew-2 mission next 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.
You can watch live NASA TV coverage about Crew-1 that will begin at 3:15 p.m.
— NASA's Kennedy Space Center (@NASAKennedy) November 15, 2020
The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station at about 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.
In case if a delay for weather or technical concerns the next launch opportunity is Wednesday evening, Nov. 18
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.
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 245,ooo Americans have died from infection by the coronavirus .
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.
Per NASA: 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 Facebook, ISS 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
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.
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