Commander Mike Hopkins (Mike Hopkins) and his three crew will board the crew “Resilience” capsule on Monday for the first maneuver to relocate the SpaceX-owned spacecraft to a new dock outside the International Space Station. .
Hopkins and pilot Victor Glover will be on the flank of Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and NASA mission expert Shannon Walker for 45 minutes Maneuver to relocate the crew Dragon spacecraft. Like any other docking or docking operations performed on the space station, they will be suitable for wearing white SpaceX-made pressure suits.
Monday’s docking port swap will be the first time the SpaceX crew capsule will perform a relocation exercise.
Hopkins said on Friday: “We are very excited about this.”
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has changed the docking port of the International Space Station 19 times, the most recent being on March 19.
Hopkins told Space Flight in an interview last year: “Soyuz and our approach are very different.” “Soyuz does everything manually and plans to automate it. However, we do have the ability. Take over and do it manually when needed.”
The Hopkins crew launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 15th, starting the first full operational flight of the SpaceX crew cabin. The next day, their mission was called “Crew 1” and docked with the International Space Station.
The Crew Dragon’s disaster-resistance capability was successfully docked with the front port of the space station’s “Harmony” module. The same location has been used by the space shuttles that have visited. Monday’s relocation exercise will park the “Crew Dragon Disaster Prevention” spacecraft at the same port of call on the top of the “Harmony” module or on the side of the zenith.
The ground controller at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, plans to activate and inspect the system on the Crew Dragon capsule on Sunday.
Steve Stitch, NASA’s Commercial Flight Attendant Program Manager, said: “Before we proceed with the port relocation, Sunday was really busy. “We will wake up the dragon. It has been in a static state for these four and a half months (since docking). “
On the 141st day of the mission, Hopkins, Glover, Noguchi and Walker will float into their spacecraft early on Monday morning and close the hatch between the crew dragon and the space station.
The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft is scheduled to disembark from the space station at 6:30 am Eastern Time (1030 GMT). A few minutes before the space capsule is separated from the platform, the automatic command will start the process of disconnecting the power cord and opening the hook to allow the crew dragon to leave the docking port.
“Interestingly, it is actually a combination of the four different flight phases that we have on the aircraft. Therefore, there is a standard docking, and we will follow the same steps as the normal docking day and go through all the same steps (we Will apply),” Hopkins said. “We just set up a sign to inform the vehicle that this will be a repositioning, not a normal docking.”
According to Stitch, the capsule will retreat to a distance of approximately 200 feet (approximately 60 meters) and use its Draco thrusters to fly from a position in front of the space station to a position above the complex.
He said: “Then, after canceling the docking, there is a stage… the relevant navigation system must be regained, so this is a critical stage.” “Once completed, we can set up the port relocation block. Then, Once we order the port to reposition the parts, you will move from the forward docking axis to the zenith docking axis. At that time, it’s just like a normal docking.”
Crew Dragon’s computer will direct the capsule to an automatic link to the Zenith port on the Harmony module at 7:15 AM Eastern Time (1115 GMT).
Just as the crew of the Soyuz is preparing for a relocation exercise, the astronauts of Long will also be ready to return to Earth in case there is a problem with the connection to the space station.
Hopkins said: “In a very short period of time, we are going through three or four different flight phases, but there is still potential. If there is a problem with the docking attempt, you may go home.” “So we too. Must be ready to go home.
“So this is a very interesting event and we are very happy to have the opportunity to do so because I think it will be a challenge, but I think it will be a powerful feature, especially after Hopkins told Spaceflight Now, “We will launch many different types of vehicles in the near future. “
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins (Kate Rubins) took this aircraft when he switched docking ports on the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft last month. He said that the relocation was “not just a pleasant experience”. travel”.
Rubens said from recent experience: “This is all the fun and work of the dockless day, and all the fun and work of the docking day.” “It’s a lot of activities. But it’s cool, and it has been used for several months. The long-term vehicles are separated and can be seen from a height of 60 meters, which is really an amazing view.”
Monday’s relocation will clear the way for the next SpaceX crew mission to dock with the front row position of the Harmony module. SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission is scheduled to be launched from the Kennedy Space Center on April 22 and will carry commander Shane Kimbrough, pilot Megan McArthur, Japanese astronaut Hoshide Akihiko and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
Hopkins and his crew are scheduled to end their mission on April 28, leave the space station, and then return to the Earth’s atmosphere fiercely, finally landing on the Florida coast with a parachute assisted splash.
They will dock on April 28 and then clear the top port of the Harmony cabin for the arrival of the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission originally scheduled to launch on June 3. NASA hopes that the Dragon cargo ship will dock with Harmony’s Zenith port, and within the space station’s range, a Canadian-made robotic arm will extract a pair of new solar arrays from the dragon’s trunk to upgrade the power system of the orbital laboratory.
Hopkins said Friday: “We have reached some very important milestones, so don’t let us down, make sure we keep staring at the ball.”
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