Following a successful launch of Falcon 9 on November 15, now the SpaceX Crew Dragon leads to the International Spacing Station. On-board there is a Japanese astronaut and four American astronauts. At exactly 7:27 p.m. Eastern Time is when Falcon 9 was lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. It took only 12 minutes for the Crew Dragon spacecraft to separate from the rocket’s upper stage after the lift-off.
At around 11 p.m. Eastern Time is when the spacecraft is expected to dock with the International Space Station. The on-board NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Mike Hopkins, Vic Glover, and JAXA astronaut Noguchi Soichi will be on the ISS for six months. The earlier launch schedule was to take place on November 14, but it was postponed by a day due to weather conditions that delayed drone arrival to land in the Atlantic.
Jim Bridenstine, the NASA Administrator, said that the delay was not in any way affected by the claims that Elon Musk, SpaceX Chief Executive Officer, has Covid-19 symptoms. He went on to add that Elon did not come into contact with the crew, and he was not present at the Kennedy Space Center during the pre-launch activities. He said the person who was present is Gwynne Shotwell, the company’s president.
NASA associate administrator in charge of human exploration as well as operations, Kathy Leuders, said that there were small technical issues that occurred during the countdown and after lift-off. She said the issue concerned the spacecraft thermal control system, but it was resolved. She added that some of these things do happen, but the Dragon is flying on well right now. NASA said that Spacecraft controllers worked on the Dragon heaters that were not working after the lift-off, and they started usually functioning a few hours later.
After the Crew-1 mission, Vic would become the first Black astronaut to stay longer on the International Space Station. Soichi would be the first Japanese astronaut to carry out three different missions. The first was when they flew to orbit using the shuttle, the second using Soyuz, and now using Crew Dragon. The Crew-1 mission would be the first commercially licensed orbital flight by the Federal Aviation Administration. It would also be the first operational commercial crew flight. Kathy said that NASA is happy with SpaceX’s capability to carry out a crew meeting all NASA’s requirements.