NASA SpaceX Crew 2 Dragon Docks to ISS Making Happy Eleven Resident Crew!

NASA SpaceX Crew 2 Dragon Docks to ISS Making Happy Eleven Resident Crew!
The Expedition 65 crew comprising Crew-2 astronauts wearing black shirts and seven others in blue shirts from Crew-1 and Soyuz MS-18 pose on the International Space Station on April 24, 2021. From left to right (front): Mike Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, Akihiko Hoshide, Shane Kimbrough, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover. From left to right (rear): Mark Vande Hei, Oleg Novitskiy, and Pyotr Dubrov

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – The quartet of multinational astronauts launched early Friday morning (April 23) on the NASA SpaceX Crew 2 mission from Florida’s Space Coast successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS) some 23 hours later early Saturday morning (April 24) – flying inside the first ever recycled SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and soon floated inside smiling broadly for a stunning photo op moments later to make a ‘Happy Eleven’ resident crew.

This briefly enlarged crew of 11 marks more humans living and working on board the ISS in nearly a decade – since the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttles in July 2011

“We are happy eleven on #ISS! Welcome back to home away from home for 6 months!!!!!! #crew1 #crew2 #soyuzms18,” tweeted JAXA astronaut and Expedition 65 and Crew 1 station crew member Soichi Noguchi with an amazing photo of all eleven station residents from the three crews of astronauts and cosmonauts now onboard from a trio of human space capsules; Crew-1, Crew-2 and Soyuz MS-18 and four space agencies; NASA, ESA, JAXA and Roscosmos..

The 1st time recycled Crew Dragon Endeavour arrived at the ISS Saturday morning after a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings and docked automatically to the massive orbiting complex at the forward-facing port on the Harmony node at 5:08 a.m. EDT (0908 GMT) while the spacecraft were flying 264 miles (422 km) above the Indian Ocean.

The all veteran Crew-2 astronaut team comprises NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Following Crew Dragon’s link up to the Harmony module, the astronauts aboard the Endeavour and the space station conducted standard leak checks and pressurization between the Dragon and the station.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon on Crew-2 mission approaches its space station docking port with the Kibo laboratory module in the foreground. on April 24, 2021. Credit: NASA TV

After all was well they opened the hatch at 7:15 a.m EDT and floated thorough one by one.

Each crew member was greeted with big smile, boisterous bear hugs and cheers and endless happy smiles!

Watch the joyous adventure in this NASA TV video of the crew-2 astronauts floating through the hatch one by one

“We have an 11-person scrum here, with four countries represented,” Hoshide said during additional remarks during the Crew-2 welcome ceremony Saturday.

“It is awesome to see the 11 of you on station,” said Steve Jurczyk, NASA acting administrator, during the welcome ceremony. “I’m really excited this for this new era for ISS.”

 

 

https://twitter.com/i/events/1385978308106416136

 

The Expedition 65 crew comprising Crew-2 astronauts wearing black shirts and seven others in blue shirts from Crew-1 and Soyuz MS-18 pose on the International Space Station on April 24, 2021. From left to right (front): Mike Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, Akihiko Hoshide, Shane Kimbrough, Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Shannon Walker, and Victor Glover. From left to right (rear): Mark Vande Hei, Oleg Novitskiy, and Pyotr Dubrov.

The Crew 2 mission began with the flawless liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon Endeavor spaceship right on time at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, from seaside Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida and produced spectacular sky effects like the ‘jelly fish’ and ‘space angels’ phenomena as the rocket rose into daylight and wowed big crowds ringing the space coast viewing sights gathered from across the globe.

Streak Shot to Orbit: NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon hurled to orbit after liftoff at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station – in the 6.5 minute long duration exposure single image streak shot- concluding with ‘jelly fish’ spawned by rocket exhaust. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

This first ever recycled SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 booster used for a human spaceflight mission hurled the multinational NASA, ESA and JAXA veteran astronaut quartet to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six month science mission in a stunning predawn launch from the Florida Space Coast Friday morning.

Enjoy our Up Close rocket launch and prelaunch gallery of photos from pad 39A taken by Ken Kremer for Space UpClose. Check back as the gallery grows!

Fire and Fury: A recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s recycled Crew Dragon spacecraft launched at 5:49 a.m. EDT on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide onboard, Friday, April 23, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

This is a mission of many firsts – including the first time two SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, namely Endeavour from Crew-2 and Resilience from Crew-1, are simultaneously to the ISS.

Endeavour and Resilience and attached perpendicular to one another at the Harmony module at the forward and space facing (Zenith) ports respectively.

April 24, 2021: International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are attached to the space station including two SpaceX Crew Dragon vehicles, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo craft, and Russia’s Progress 75 and 77 resupply ships and Soyuz MS-18 crew ship. Credit: NASA

Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet join the current 7 ISS residents including 4 from Crew-1 namely Shannon WalkerMichael Hopkins, and Victor Glover as well as Soichi Noguchi of JAXA and 3 from the recently arrived Soyuz MS-18 launch namely Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov, as well as Mark Vande Hei of NASA.

 

After a brief four day handover the NASA SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts Walker, Hopkins, Glover, and Noguchi are scheduled to depart and return to Earth on April 28 in Crew Dragon Resilience.

Overall Crew-2 is the 3rd Crew Dragon mission to fly astronauts to space and the ISS in the last eleven months – a remarkable achievement after no human missions were flown from US soil in 9 years after NASA’s space shuttles retired in July 2011.

This ESA graphic explains the rendezvous and docking of Crew Dragon to ISS

The quartet of astronauts is also the first crew to ride to space aboard a previously-flown Falcon 9 booster and simultaneously a reused Dragon spacecraft.

Both vehicles are manufactured by SpaceX and have been carefully refurbished for this mission to ensure safety and reliability.

Crew-2 flew aboard the Crew Dragon “Endeavour” spacecraft — the same spaceship flown by veteran NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken on the Demo-2 mission to the space station last year in May 2020 which was also the first flight of US astronauts from US soil in nearly a decade.

NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon poised for liftoff at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

The Falcon 9 1st stage B1061.2 is recycled from the Crew-1 mission.

Crew Dragon was developed by SpaceX under a commercial crew program (CCP) contract to NASA

The Crew-2 mission is the second of six crewed missions NASA and SpaceX will fly as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Crew-2 is also a mission of many firsts outlined by NASA:

  • First commercial crew mission to fly two international partners;
  • First commercial crew handover between astronauts on the space station as Crew-1 and Crew-2 astronauts will spend about five days together on station before Crew-1 returns to Earth;
  • First reuse of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket on a crew mission –Crew Dragon Endeavour flew the historic Demo-2 mission and the Falcon 9 flew astronauts on the Crew-1 mission; and,
  • First time two commercial crew spacecraft will be docked to station at the same time.

 

 

A recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s recycled Crew Dragon spacecraft launched at 5:49 a.m. EDT on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide onboard, Friday, April 23, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Crew-2 will remain aboard until fall 2021 and overlap with SpaceX Crew-3 launching in Fall 2021 – read our earlier Crew-3 story.

Watch my live post launch interview on The Donlan Report on News Nation Cable News about the significance of the NASA SpaceX Crew 2 launch to ISS launch, Commercial Space, Mars rover/helicopter, the future of space travel and Elon Musk’s plan to build a city on Mars.

https://www.newsnationnow.com/the-donlon-report/the-donlon-report-tv-producer-fired-for-speaking-openly-about-former-network-caitlyn-jenner-announces-run-for-california-governor-whats-next-for-spacex/

 

My live post launch/docking interview on TRT World Apr 24:

 

Watch my live interview on ‘Stay Curious’ show about NASA SpaceX Crew 2 mission and NASA Ingenuity Helicopter 1st flight – on April 29 at the American Space Museum Titusville, FL

 

Ken is onsite at KSC for the Crew-2 mission launch on NET April 23.

Ken Kremer, founder of Space UpClose, reporting from Kennedy Space Center, Florida about NASA SpaceX Crew-2 launch to ISS

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about ISS, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions 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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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

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NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon poised for liftoff at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station. Crew 2 astronauts comprise ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com
NASA SpaceX Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon poised for liftoff at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, 2021 from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida to the International Space Station. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

Media briefing at the KSC Countdown Clock backdropped by Launch Complex 39A with acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk, Frank De Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA (European Space Agency), Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president and director general of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate, NASA astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and Jasmin Moghbeli, and Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, ahead of the Crew-2 launch. at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide are scheduled to launch at 5:49 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 23, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

Crew-2 mission astronauts displayed on the KSC Countdown Clock below the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft which will blast them to orbit and deliver them to the International Space Station. Crew 2 astronauts comprise ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Falcon 9 launch retargeted for 5:49 a.m. EDT, April 23, 2021 from Launch Complex-39A on the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

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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.

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