NASA announced that the launch date of the Crew-1 mission, which will be the first operational flight of the Crew Dragon capsule, has been delayed. The mission, which will bring 4 astronauts into orbit in total, is not expected to begin before October 23.
The Demo-2 mission, which started with the private space transport company SpaceX’s sending 2 NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in May, was successfully completed when the astronauts returned to Earth earlier this month. After the successful completion of the Demo-2 mission, eyes are now turned to Crew-1 mission, which will be Crew Dragon’s first operational flight.
Under normal circumstances, SpaceX aimed to send four astronauts into orbit “before the end of September”. However, the launch that would take astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi into orbit was delayed to accommodate NASA’s Russian partners. The firm owned by Elon Musk and NASA are currently not considering a date earlier than October 23 for the Crew-1 mission.
The first operational flight of the SpaceX capsule with Crew-1 will be made:
Following the success of the Crew Dragon Demo-2 launch in May and its return in August, the first operational flight of the SpaceX capsule with Crew-1 will be made. The launch will be the first of many crew rotation missions to the International Space Station. However, Crew-1 will not be allowed to launch until NASA and SpaceX have finished reviewing the Demo-2 data and have officially approved Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 for crewed flights.
After NASA has fully approved its spaceflight, Crew Dragon will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida via a Falcon 9 rocket. As part of the Crew-1 mission, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover and mission expert Shannon Walker, including Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese space agency JAXA, will be carried into orbit.
Crew-2 launch is scheduled for spring 2021, following the successful completion of the Crew-1 mission. The American space agency NASA wants to end Russia’s commitment to the Soyuz vehicle by regularly transporting astronauts to the space station via Crew Dragon.