Full fuel for a flight to the International Space Station later this month, SpaceX on Thursday transferred the Crew Dragon “Recession” spacecraft to a hangar near Bat 39A at the Kennedy Space Center to connect with its Falcon 9 launcher.
The merchant group ship arrived at SpaceX’s hangar near the southern perimeter of 39A on Thursday. SpaceX technicians inside the building this weekend will connect the Crew Dragon with a Falcon 9 rocket.
The Merchant Group capsule will be launched on November 14 at 7:49 pm EST (November 15 at 0049 GMT) with four astronauts. The mission, called Crew-1, will be SpaceX’s first operational aircraft spacecraft following a 64-day test flight to space station with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behanken earlier this year.
Named the “Regression” for the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Crew-1 mission, Commander Mike Hopkins believes that “when we work together we can be an inspiration to all that is possible”.
“When you look at the definition of recession, it means better functioning in times of stress or coping with adverse events, so we all agree that 2020 was definitely a challenging year – global epidemic, economic hardship, domestic unrest, loneliness – despite all that, SpaceX (and) NASA has the production line and is preparing to launch this amazing vehicle on its first flight to the International Space Station, ”Hopkins said.
“In our link, on the border, there are names, there are no flags, it was by design, because that link doesn’t really refer to all four of us, but it actually refers to the countless people who contributed,” Hopkins told a news conference in September.
“The same theme applies to the name of this vehicle, regression. This is not just a link for the four of us, but we feel it’s a link for all of you, everyone,” Hopkins said. “We hope it brings a smile to your face. We hope it gives you something positive in your life, quite frankly, it’s an inspiration – when you work together, it shows that there is no limit to what you can achieve.”
In an interview with Space Flight Now, Hopkins said he expects future aircraft of the reusable capsule to be named Reliance with the crew dragon spacecraft, also known as the SpaceX Dragon C207. Hurley and Behankan chose the name Endeavor for the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a demonstration plane called the Der-2.
The Crew Dragon Endeavor capsule is being upgraded for another flight to the space station on the Crew-2 mission in the first half of 2021. The Crew-2 astronauts will transform the Crew-1 into a half-year orbit at the space station.
Hopkins said the Crew-2 astronauts did not want to rename the Crew Dragon effort.
“So (the name) is going to stick with that vehicle, that’s what we expect,” Hopkins said. “Sometimes vehicles like ships are renamed when they are shipped from one owner to another, but especially in the case, it depends on the family, it stays with the company, so I would be surprised if its name is changed, but everyone can decide that way.”
Dragon’s transition to hangar signals is the beginning of the final phase of the launch campaign
The crew was taken by road from the refueling facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base to Bat 39A, near the Dragon Recession. Before moving to the launch site, the spacecraft for capsule missile escape engines and orbital maneuvers was filled with hypercholesterolemic hydrogen and tetroxide propulsion.
The ship’s Falcon 9 missile was already inside the hangar on the southern perimeter of the launch pad, the same coastal complex where the Apollo moon missions and spacecraft left Earth.
Once SpaceX technicians have confirmed the mechanical and electrical connection between the spacecraft and the rocket, the 215-foot (65-meter) vehicle will roll to pad 39A and be raised vertically to the test firing of the Falcon 9’s Merlin main engines on Monday evening.
The Another Falcon 9 rocket was successfully launched Thursday night Crew-1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base was a major milestone on the way to work. Falcon 9 successfully sends GPS navigation satellite to US space force, confirms presence of engineers Solved a problem with Merlin engines This delayed the GPS mission and the Crew-1 flight.
Hopkins, pilot Victor Clover, mission specialist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Sochi Nokuchi are due to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center via the EST (1900 GMT) NASA Gulf Stream Jet at 2pm on Sunday.
An aeronautical readiness study is scheduled for Monday with top NASA officials to discuss unresolved technical issues, review the status of launching products, and formally approve crews to continue Crew-1 mission.
Hopkins and his team will put their SpaceX-made pressure cases on Wednesday for a “dry dress rehearsal” of their launch day activities. Four astronauts will ride on two Tesla Model X automobiles from the crew at Kennedy Space Center to Bat 39A, where they will climb the Crew Dragon retreat.
When the rehearsal is over, the team members will leave the spacecraft and return to the group accommodation.
Next Saturday, Nov.
Assuming a timely launch at EST at 7:49 pm on November 14, the crew is scheduled to sail spontaneously with the International Space Station eight and a half hours after the setback. 4:20 a.m. EST (0920 GMT) Nov., 15 p.m.
Hours after the dock, Hopkins and his crew open the hatch to join Russian Commander Sergei Ryzykov, aeronautical engineer Sergei Kut-Sverkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins – the first to raise the lab’s long-term staff to seven.
Hopkins said that although the Crew Dragon’s Demo-2 test aircraft with Hurley and Behenken have proven that the SpaceX-built capsule can carry astronauts safely to Earth for space station, the Crew-1 mission will be its first priority.
“One of the differences that needs to be made between the demo-2 and our mission is that they were part of the development and demonstration, and we’re really more in the process,” Hopkins said in an interview prior to Space Flight Now. “So we’re going to keep the vehicle at its operating speed.
“What this means is that during that free flight phase we will find out how four people are going to live and operate in the vehicle, but we have been bringing things of that nature for a long time,” Hopkins said. “So, although the first one was a test mission, it also had a taste, because we’ve been going to be there for four or more months more than Bob (Behanken) and Doug (Hurley), so we’ll be able to monitor very closely how the vehicle handles the space environment at that time. We are going.
“In general, I think this is a functional update rather than a development test,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins, 51, was a colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served as an aeronautical test engineer before being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009. He completed a 166-day mission to the space station in 2013 and 2014 before being commissioned by NASA. The first operational crew dragon mission in 2018.
He said there were no manual pilot tests on the Crew-1 aircraft program, such as the demonstrations by Doug Hurley on the Demo-2 mission. If all goes according to plan, the Crew Dragon Recession will connect to the space station in automatic pilot mode.
“We are definitely trained in the manual piloting phase, but if there is any accident or any failures on board it will force us to go manual piloting,” Hopkins said.
Email the author.
Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: Stephen Clark1.