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Date: Thursday, March 2, 2023
Time: 5:34 AM UTC (UTC +0)

This goes

to space

Dragon - Endeavour

The Dragon Endeavour first flew Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on the Demo-2 mission for NASA in May of 2020.

The capsule returned human launch capability to NASA as part of the Commercial Crew Program, which will serve U.S., Canadian, Japanese, and European astronauts as well as Russian cosmonauts.

During Demo-2, Bob and Doug named this Dragon in recognition of the Space Shuttle Endeavour - the ship that flew them both to space for the first time.

Like its namesake, Dragon Endeavour is designed for reuse and returned to Earth with Bob and Doug on August 2nd, 2020 - safely completing its first voyage after 65 days in space.

Dragon Vehicle Statistics

Total launches: 45

Visits to the ISS: 40

Total reflights: 24

Technical Specifications

Height: 8.1 m / 26.7 ft
Diameter: 4 m / 13 ft
Capsule volume: 9.3 m³ / 328 ft³
Trunk volume: 37 m³ / 1300 ft³
Launch Payload Mass: 6,000 kg / 13,228 lbs
Return Payload Mass: 3,000 kg / 6,614 lbs

Dragon for crew

This SpaceX capsule is designed to carry a crew of four to the International Space Station or other Earth orbit destinations after being launched atop a reusable Falcon 9 rocket.

The capsule includes a launch abort system, an advanced environmental control and life support system that keeps the crew safe during flight, and state-of-the-art touchscreen interfaces.

Crew Dragon is designed to operate autonomously but can be manually controlled by SpaceX teams in Hawthorne, California, and the astronauts on board.

Under the contracted crew rotation missions to the Space Station for NASA, Dragon will carry a regular crew of 4 international astronauts.

Crew Dragon is also available for private missions to Earth orbit for paying customers.

For missions to the Station, Crew Dragon can remain in orbit for up to 6 months.

Carrying

this crew

Crew-6

NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren "Woody" Hoburg, as well as UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, will lift off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to perform science, technology demonstrations, and maintenance activities aboard the microgravity laboratory.

The flight is the sixth crew rotation mission with SpaceX to station, and the seventh flight of Dragon with people as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Bowen and Hoburg were assigned to the Crew-6 mission in December 2021 and began working and training for their flight on SpaceX’s human spacecraft and their stay aboard the space station. Fedyaev and Alneyadi were added as the third and fourth crew members in July 2022. Crew-6 will spend up to six months at the space station before returning to Earth.

The international crew will fly aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, which previously flew NASA’s Crew-1, Inspiration4, and Axiom Mission-1 astronauts. As part of the refurbishment process, teams are installing new components, including the heat shield, nosecone, trunk and all forward bulkhead and service section Draco engines. These hardware components help the spacecraft withstand reentry heat, support docking and cargo space, and provide steering and thrust to the spacecraft. Previously flown components include pod panels from a previous human spaceflight mission.

As teams progress through Dragon milestones for Crew-6, they also are preparing a first-flight Falcon 9 booster for the mission. Once all rocket and spacecraft system checkouts are complete and all components are certified for flight, teams will mate Dragon to the Falcon 9 rocket in SpaceX’s hangar at the launch site. The integrated spacecraft and rocket will then be rolled to the pad and raised to vertical for an integrated static fire test and dry dress rehearsal with the crew prior to launch.

The Crew

This will be Bowen’s fourth trip into space as a veteran of three space shuttle missions: STS-126 in 2008, STS-132 in 2010, and STS-133 in 2011. Bowen has logged more than 40 days in space, including 47 hours, 18 minutes during seven spacewalks. As mission commander, he will be responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He will serve as an Expedition 69 flight engineer aboard the station.

Bowen was born in Cohasset, Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and a master’s degree in ocean engineering from the Joint Program in Applied Ocean Science and Engineering offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Massachusetts. In July 2000, Bowen became the first submarine officer selected as an astronaut by NASA.

The mission will be Hoburg’s first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2017. As pilot, he will be responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as an Expedition 69 flight engineer.

Hoburg is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT and a doctorate in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. At the time of his selection as an astronaut, Hoburg was an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. Hoburg's research focused on efficient methods for design of engineering systems. He also is a commercial pilot with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine ratings. Follow @Astro_Woody on Twitter.

Alneyadi will be making his first trip to space, representing the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center of the UAE. Alneyadi will be the first UAE astronaut to fly on a commercial spacecraft. Once aboard the station, he will become a flight engineer for Expedition 69. Follow @Astro_Alneyadi on Twitter.

Fedyaev will be making his first trip to space, and will also serve as a mission specialist, working to monitor the spacecraft during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. He will be a flight engineer for Expedition 69.

Mission Overview

Lifting off from Launch Pad 39A on a Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon Endeavour will accelerate its four passengers to approximately 17,500 mph, putting it on an intercept course with the space station.

Once in orbit, the crew and SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, will monitor a series of automatic maneuvers that will guide Endeavour to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module. After several maneuvers to gradually raise its orbit, Endeavour will be in position to rendezvous and dock with its new home in orbit. The spacecraft is designed to dock autonomously, but the crew can take control and pilot manually, if necessary.

After docking, Crew-6 will be welcomed inside the station by the seven-member crew of Expedition 69. The astronauts of NASA's SpaceX Crew-5 mission will undock from the space station and splash down off the coast of Florida several days after Crew-6's arrival.

Crew-6 will conduct new and exciting scientific research to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth. Experiments will include studies of how particular materials burn in microgravity, tissue chip research on heart, brain, and cartilage functions, and an investigation that will collect microbial samples from the outside of the space station. These are just some of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during their mission.

During their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, Crew-6 will see the arrival of cargo spacecraft including the SpaceX Dragon and the Roscosmos Progress. Crew-6 also is expected to welcome the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test astronauts and the Axiom Mission-2 crew during their expedition.

At the conclusion of the mission, Dragon Endeavour will autonomously undock with the four crew members aboard, depart the space station and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. After splashdown just off Florida’s coast, a SpaceX recovery vessel will pick up the crew, who will be helicoptered back to shore.

Commercial crew missions enable NASA to maximize use of the space station, where astronauts have lived and worked continuously for more than 22 years testing technologies, performing science, and developing the skills needed to operate future commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit and explore farther from Earth. Research conducted on the space station provides benefits for people on Earth and paves the way for future long-duration trips to the Moon and beyond through NASA’s Artemis missions.

Courtesy of NASA

On this

rocket

Falcon 9 with Dragon (Crew)

Falcon 9 is a reusable, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by SpaceX for the reliable and safe transport of people and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.

Falcon 9 is the world’s first orbital-class reusable rocket.

Stats

Total launches: 344


Total landings: 301


Total reflights: 275


The Falcon 9 has launched 49 humans into orbit since May 2020

Specs


Height: 70 m / 229.6 ft


Diameter: 3.7 m / 12 ft


Mass: 549,054 kg / 1,207,920 lb


Payload to LEO: 22,800 kg / 50,265 lb


Payload to GTO: 8,300 kg / 18,300 lb


Payload to Mars: 4,020 kg / 8,860 lb

On January 24, 2021, Falcon 9 launched the first ride-share mission to Sun Synchronous Orbit. It was delivering a record-setting 143 satellites to space. And while this was an important mission for SpaceX in itself, it was also the moment Falcon 9 overtook United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V for the total number of consecutive successful launches.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 had become America’s workhorse rocket, launching 31 times in 2021. It has already beaten that record this year, launching almost an average of once a week. While most of the launches deliver Starlink satellites to orbit, the company is still launching the most commercial payloads to orbit, too.

Falcon 9 is a medium-lift launch vehicle, with the capability to launch over 22.8 metric tonnes to low earth orbit. Unlike any other rocket, its first stage lands back on Earth after separating from its second stage. In part, this allows SpaceX to offer the cheapest option for most customers with payloads that need to reach orbit.

Under its ride-share program, a kilogram can be placed in a sun-synchronous orbit for a mere 1.1 million dollars, far cheaper than all other currently operating small satellite launch vehicles.

The reusability and fast booster turnaround times have made Falcon 9 the preferred choice for private companies and government agencies. This has allowed SpaceX to capture a huge portion of the launch market.

Protecting the Crew

On the launch pad, the crew will board Dragon prior to fueling of the rocket.

Dragon's abort system will be armed and ready to pull the crew away from Falcon 9 in the event a critical issue develops during fueling.

The launch to a 200 x 200 km orbit will take just under 9 minutes.

Dragon and its crew will then separate from the Falcon 9 second stage 11 minutes after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center.

Photo by Erik Kuna for Supercluster

From this

launch site

LC-39A - Kennedy Space Center, Florida
March 2, 2023

NASA's historic Kennedy Space Center is located on Cape Canaveral, Florida, and has hosted decades of historic space missions since the early days of the Apollo program.

Today, Kennedy Space Center is a multi-user spaceport and hosts private companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX, and others.

SpaceX leases Launch Complex 39A at NASA's flagship facility and uses the pad to launch its Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 rockets. The pad is also used to launch missions for the Commercial Crew Program for which SpaceX launches astronauts to the Space Station for NASA aboard their Crew Dragon capsule.

Launch Complex 39A was previously used by NASA to launch the Apollo 11 mission to land the first humans on the moon and Space Shuttle missions to assemble the International Space Station and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope.

Image: Erik Kuna for Supercluster

Dragon

goes here

ISS - Harmony Module (Forward)
March 2, 2023

ISS - Harmony forward

The Harmony module, also known within NASA as Node-2, was launched to the ISS in October 2007 on the STS-120 mission of Shuttle Discovery.

Harmony serves as the gateway between the U.S. scientific and living modules and ESA's Columbus laboratory and JAXA’s Kibo lab complex.

The module is equipped with two docking ports for U.S. crew (Dragon and Starliner) and cargo (Dragon) spacecraft and also has one berthing port that can be used for either Northrop Grumman's Cygnus or Japan's HTV cargo crafts.

Photo: The Harmony module, with the forward docking port visible. Credit: NASA

Booster will

land here

Just Read The Instructions
March 2, 2023

The Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship "Just Read The Instructions" is one of two Atlantic Ocean recovery ships for SpaceX's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets. It was first used exclusively in the Pacific Ocean before being brought through the Panama Canal to Louisiana and then Port Canaveral for refits and upgrades. Its first Atlantic Ocean mission supported the 8th Starlink launch in June 2020.

Here's where to view SpaceX Crew-6

Viewing Sites
  • Alan Shepard Park
  • A. Max Brewer Parkway Bridge
  • Saturn V Building / Banana Creek
  • Cherie Down Park
  • Cocoa Beach Pier
  • Jetty Park
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
  • Lori Wilson Park
  • Playalinda Beach
  • Rotary Riverfront Park
  • Sand Point Park
  • Sidney Fischer Park
  • Space View Park

Space is for everyone. Here’s a link to share the launch with your friends.