NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts on the International Space Station prepare to move the Crew Dragon Spaceship Eneavor ahead of the arrival of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft next weekend.
The move will take place Wednesday, July 21, when NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will come Effort from the front port of the space station’s Harmony module to the space-facing port. The relocation maneuver will take less than an hour, as the team plans to undock the spacecraft at 6:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 GMT) and then re-dock at 7:32 a.m. EDT (1132 GMT), according to a NASA press release.
Live coverage of the port relocation will begin at 6.30am EDT (10.30am GMT) and you can watch it on NASA Television, NASA app or the agency website. You can also stream live coverage of the event on Space.com.
Related: Photos of SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station
Moving Endeavor will make room for NASA Boeing-2 Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2), which is scheduled to launch to the space station on July 30 and arrive the next day. Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft will dock at Harmony Forward Port, marking the first time that two different U.S. commercial spacecraft will be docked at the space station at the same time, the statement said.
The OFT-2 mission will be Boeing’s second test flight attempt, designed to test the end-to-end capabilities of its Starliner spacecraft, including launch, docking, atmospheric reentry and a desert landing in the western United States. Starliner’s first test flight launched in December 2019, but the spacecraft did not reach the station as planned due to a series of technical issues.
“The unmanned mission will provide valuable data on Boeing’s crew transportation system and help NASA certify Starliner and the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for scheduled flights with astronauts to and from the space station, ”NASA officials said in the statement.
Wednesday’s port relocation marks the second time this year that astronauts have had to move spacecraft around the space station. In April, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts completed the first commercial crew transfer to port at the orbiting lab when they moved Crew Dragon Resilience before SpaceX Crew-2 arrived.
the SpaceX-2 crew mission launched on April 23 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked with the space station on April 24. The crew is aiming for a return to Earth in early to mid-November and will land off the coast of Florida.
SpaceX’s next crew rotation mission, Crew-3, is scheduled to launch to the space station on October 31. Crew-3 includes NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn and Kayla Barron, and ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. They will be launched on a new Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a six-month science mission to the orbiting laboratory. NASA and SpaceX have a total of six certified crew missions planned as part of the agency’s commercial crew program, the statement said.
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