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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule swapped docking ports on the space station-now Spaceflight



The Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft was shut down on Monday for docking at the International Space Station. Image source: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now

In the residence of the International Space Station for nearly half a year, four astronauts took their SpaceX-owned crew “board” and “resilient” spacecraft to the new docking port outside the orbital research laboratory on Monday, which is the first time that this is applicable to the new generation. A maneuver of a commercial crew spacecraft.

The exercise cleared the way for the next SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, which will arrive at the space station later this month, and is preparing to dock a Dragon freighter carrying a pair of new solar arrays in June to upgrade the power system of the outpost. .

Commander Mike Hopkins (Mike Hopkins), pilot Victor Glover (Victor Glover) and mission experts Soichi Noguchi (Soichi Noguchi) and Shannon Walker (Shannon Walker) wore their SpaceX made Pressure-resistant suits and boarded the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft earlier on Monday. All four astronauts are on the Crew Dragon to perform crew maneuvers in case problems prevent the spacecraft from reconnecting to the space station and force it to return to Earth as soon as possible.

After closing the hatch between the space capsule and the space station, the astronauts configured the ground cockpit because the ground personnel made the final “departure” for the relocation operation.

The capsule was unloaded from the front dock port of the space station’s Harmony module at 6:30 am Eastern Time (1030 GMT) and launched its Draco thrusters, retreating to more than 200 feet (60 meters) away.

After ensuring that Dragon’s laser navigation system was well locked on the space station, mission control allowed Hopkins to approve the request that the spacecraft reposition itself from the front docking axis of the space station to the approach corridor above the complex.

The Crew Dragon bulletproof spacecraft performed a detour maneuver in autopilot mode. Once the capsule was aligned with the top of the Harmony or the zenith port of call, Hopkins issued another command to the Crew Dragon and began to automatically return to the station.

The spacecraft docked with the station again at 7:08 a.m. Eastern Time (1108 GMT) and completed a 38-minute repositioning action. This was the first such action for a commercial manned vehicle.

In the history of the International Space Station program, the Russian Soyuz astronaut capsule has been moved to different docking ports 19 times. Unlike the Crew Dragon, the Soyuz spacecraft was manually relocated by manual input by Russian astronauts.

“SpaceX from Houston, from Resilience, congratulations on the successful port migration,” the Hopkins broadcast of the crew Crew Dragon spacecraft said. “We are going to conduct a leak check, but the powerful features will really enhance the various options here for the International Space Station, so congratulations.”

The relocation of the spacecraft is useful for mission planners to open docking ports for different types of visitors and freight vehicles.

The astronauts plan to enter the space station again later on Monday and Monday to resume normal work.

The Hopkins crew launched the “Tough Crew” spacecraft named “Toughness” from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on November 15, 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.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins (Kate Rubins) took the plane last month when he exchanged docking ports on the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft. He said last week that the relocation was “more than just a pleasant trip.”

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 can be used for months. The long-lasting vehicle is separated and it can be seen from a height of 60 meters, which is an amazing sight.”

Monday’s relocation cleared the way for the next SpaceX crew mission to dock with the forward 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.

Last week, astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi put on their SpaceX pressure In order to prepare for the relocation of the “Crew Dragon” and “Resilience” spacecraft to the International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA / JAXA

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 module for the arrival of the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission originally scheduled for launch on June 3. The 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 on Friday: “We have some very important milestones, so don’t let us fall behind and make sure we keep staring at the ball.”

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.




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