Crew Dragon “Flexibility” Florida Spaceport – Spaceflight Now and Falcon 9 Rocket Match

The Crew Dragon spacecraft has landed inside a hangar near Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center for the rotating mission of SpaceX’s first active crew to the International Space Station. There, SpaceX teams will attach the capsule to its Falcon 9 launcher. Credit: SpaceX

Fully motivated to fly to the International Space Station later this month, SpaceX on Thursday unveiled the Dragon “Flexibility” spacecraft to be attached to its Falcon 9 launcher at a hangar near Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Changed in

The merchant crew arrived in the hangar of SpaceX near the southern perimeter of 39A on Thursday. Inside the building, SpaceX technicians will attach the Crew Dragon to the Falcon 9 rocket this weekend before launching the fully assembled launcher to Pad 39A on the ramp.

The commercial crew capsule is scheduled to launch on November 14 at 7:49 pm EST (November 15 at 0049 GMT) with four astronauts aboard. The mission is known as Crew-1, and will be the first operator of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spaceflight after a 64-day test flight to the space station earlier this year with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft has been dubbed “Flexibility” for the Crew-1 mission, a name that Commander Mike Hopkins said he hopes will “inspire everyone to see what is possible when we work together.” . ”

“As you look at the definition of resilience, it means overcoming stress and the negative effects of work, so I think we all agree that 2020 is definitely a challenging year. Has been – a global epidemic, economic hardship, civil unrest, loneliness – and despite all this, SpaceX (and) NASA has maintained the line of production and eliminated this magnificent vehicle that made its maiden flight to the International Space Station. Getting ready to move on, ”Hopkins said.

“On our patch, you will see that there are no flags on the border, on the names, and this was done by design because that patch doesn’t really represent the four of us, but it actually represents countless people. Who have contributed to getting the vehicle ready and preparing us for this mission, ”Hopkins told a news conference in September.

“The same theme applies to the name of this vehicle. Flexibility, it’s not just a connection for the four of us, but we really feel it is connected to all of you, to everyone,” Hopkins said. . “We hope it brings a smile to your face. We hope it provides something positive in your life, and frankly, that it’s an inspiration – it shows that when you work together there is no limit to what you can achieve. “

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The Crew-1 mission will include mission expert Shannon Walker, vehicle pilot Victor Glover, commander Mike Hopkins and mission expert Sochi Noguchi. The Crew-1 patch is also visible in this picture. Credit: NASA

In an interview with Spaceflight Now, Hopkins said he expects the facility to be named Kr. Will stay with Dragon – also called Dragon C207 by SpaceX – in future reusable capsule flights. Hurley and Behken chose the underwear name for the Crew Dragon spacecraft on their demonstration flight, known as Demo-2.

The Crew-Dragon underwear capsule is being refurbished for another flight to the space station on the Crew-2 mission in the first half of 2021. Crew-2 will bring astronaut CR-1 to the space station in a leap day and a half later.

Hopkins said the crew-2 astronauts did not intend to change the name of the crew Dragon Endeavor.

“So (the name) is colliding with that vehicle, and I’ll guess the same thing,” Hopkins said. “Sometimes ships are renamed when they move from one owner to another, but especially if he is living in a family, he has been with the company, I would be surprised if his name is changed.” Yes, but obviously people can decide that. “

The beginning of the final stage of signaling in the transfer hangar of the dragon

Crew Dragon Flexibility was transported from the fuel facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Pad 39A. Before heading to the launch pad, the spacecraft was loaded with hypergolic hydrazine and tetroxide propellants for capsule launch escape engines and biblical maneuvering thrusters.

The ship’s Falcon 9 launcher was already inside the hangar in the southern perimeter of the launch pad, the same marine complex where the Apollo lunar missions and space shuttles landed.

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Once SpaceX technicians confirm the mechanical and electrical connection between the spacecraft and the rocket, the full 215-foot (65-meter) vehicle will reach Pad 39A, and a test of the Falcon 9’s Merlin’s main engines will be held Monday evening. Will stand vertically for firing.

The Successful launch of another Falcon 9 rocket Thursday night was an important milestone in the journey from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the Crew-1 mission. Falcon 9 successfully deploys GPS navigation satellite for US space force, confirming that engineers Apparently a problem was solved with the Merlin engines Which delayed the GPS mission and Crew-1 flight.

Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, missionary Shannon Walker, and Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT) on NASA’s Gulfstream jet.

A Flight Readiness Review called by top NASA officials is also scheduled for Monday to discuss unresolved technical issues, review launch preparations, and formalize teams to advance the Crew-1 mission. Will approve.

Hopkins and his cremators will wear pressure suits made by SpaceX for a “dry dress rehearsal” of their launch day activities on Wednesday. The four astronauts will move from the crew quarters at the Kennedy Space Center to Pad 39A in two Tesla Model X vehicles, where they will ride on Crew Dragon Flexibility.

Once the rehearsal is complete, the crew will exit the spacecraft and return to the crew quarters.

SpaceX plans a launch readiness review on Thursday to officially sign the launch of the Crew-1 mission scheduled for next Saturday, November 14th.

Assuming an on-time launch on November 14 at 7:49 p.m., Crew Dragon Resilience is going to dock autonomously with the International Space Station at 8:00 a.m. EST (0920 GMT) and 8:00 p.m. ) On 15 November.

Hours after docking, Hopkins and his crew will open the hatch at the station to accommodate Russian commander Sergei Rizikov, flight engineer Sergei Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins – for the lab’s longtime staff. For a supplement of seven people. For the first time.

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Although the capsule created by Hurley and Behnken of the Curly Dragon’s Demu-2 test flight could take astronauts safely back to the space station and to Earth, Hopkins said the Crew-1 mission would have its first elements.

“I think one of the differences between Demo 2 and our mission is that it was more in terms of development and performance, and we’re actually more operational,” Hopkins told SpaceFlight, now a pre-flight. Interview. Reported in “That’s why we’re getting the vehicle through its working speeds.

“It means we’re figuring out how four people will be aboard and boarding the vehicle during that free flight phase, but we’re also bringing in that time period and things of that nature.” “So although the first one was a test mission, it has some flavor because we’re going there for four or more months longer than Bob (Behken) and Doug (Hurley). , So we’re going to be very careful about how the vehicle handles the space environment for that long period of time.

“In general, I think it’s more of a functional checkout than a development check,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins, 51, is a colonel in the US Air Force and served as a flight 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 nominated for command by NASA. The first working dragon mission in 2018.

He said the Crew-1 flight plan did not include any manual piloting tests, as demonstrated by Doug Hurley on the Demo-2 mission. If all goes according to plan, Crew Dragon Flexibility will connect to the space station in autopilot mode.

Hopkins said: “We have been trained in the rigorous piloting phase, but that is, if there is any kind of crisis or failure that will force us to go for manual piloting.

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