NASA, SpaceX First Manned Mission To ISS Scheduled For May 27
NASA astronauts just returned to Earth from the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz spaceship. This marked the end of the reliance on the Russian spacecraft, after which, NASA would rely on SpaceX and Boing. Now, NASA and SpaceX have set a specific date and time for their first manned mission together.
The first SpaceX flight will take off on May 27 at 4:32 PM EDT from the Kennedy Space Center, at SpaceX’s Launch Complex 39A (LC-39). NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have been chosen for this inaugural trip to the International Space Station, marking the first crewed mission in NASA’s Commercial Crew program.
SpaceX First Launch Scheduled
As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, SpaceX and Boeing were selected as potential companies to develop launch vehicles and crew craft. However, Boeing has faced multiple issues related to both software and its hardware. On the other hand, SpaceX has stayed ahead of the curve and is now set to launch its first manned mission to ISS.
The upcoming mission will be a validation of every aspect of SpaceX’s technology, including the Crew Dragon and the Falcon 9 launch system. All aspects including the pad from which the rocket takes off, the operational facilities on the ground, orbital systems, and astronaut procedures will be tested.
Further details about the SpaceX first launch will carry Behnken and Hurley, taking them to the orbit and rendevous with ISS, which is expected to occur around 24 hours after the liftoff. The SpaceX spacecraft is designed to dock fully autonomously with the station, which has already been achieved successfully on previous occasions during an uncrewed demo mission.
It’s been reported that the Crew Dragon flying this mission is designed to stay on orbit for around 110 days. However, the actual length of the stay will be decided by how ready the commercial crew mission to follow is at the time of launch.