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Tap the busy month of staff rotation on the International Space Station – Spaceflight Now



Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Megan McArthur, Shane Kimbrough and Akihiko Hoshide are all. Prepare for the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on April 22. Credit: SpaceX

Seven astronauts and astronauts are preparing for launches to the International Space Station on April 9 and April 22 to replace the outgoing missions that will land on the coasts of Kazakhstan and Florida on April 17 and April 28 in July Crew.

Successive crew rotations will keep the research center on track busy for a month. Preparations for the arrival of the new crew have already been carried out on the space station.

The first will be the move of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft to the new docking port of the space station on Monday. NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins (Mike Hopkins) is the commander of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft. Victor Glover, Koichi Noguchi and Shannon Walker will also work with them in a fully automated 45 minutes Resettlement action.

As part of SpaceX’s “Crew-1” mission, the “Dragon” astronaut, launched on November 15th, will board the “Crew Dragon” ballistic spacecraft and is suitable for re-entry, just in case the capsule cannot be used with the new one. The docking port is connected and needs to return to earth.

The Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft will detach from the front port of the Harmony module of the space station and fly to a position above the outpost, then enter and dock with the port on the top of the Harmony module. This relocation will clear the way for the next Crew Dragon mission to connect with the forward port of the space station.

Once the Crew-1 mission leaves the station in late April, the top-facing docking port will be released to transport a Dragon freighter in June. The mission will provide a new solar array to the space station and dock it on top of the Harmony module so that the space station’s robotic arm can enter the cargo compartment of the Dragon capsule to extract solar panels.

Russian flight engineer Peter Dubrov (Pyotr Dubrov), commander Oleg Novitskiy (Oleg Novitskiy) and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei (Mark Vande Hei) dressed in Sokol launch and Enter the spacesuit and pose before taking off from the Baikonur International Observatory in Kazakhstan, which was originally scheduled for April 9. Credit: Credit: NASA / GCTC / Irina Spector

Next, Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft will work with commander Oleg Novitskiy, astronaut Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Fan Mark Vande Hei (Mark Vande Hei) launched together. The Soyuz crew is scheduled to take off from the Baikonur space shuttle in Kazakhstan at 3:42 Eastern Daylight Time (0742 GMT) on April 9.

Now 49-year-old Novitskiy will spend 340 days in orbit in the first two flights. This is his third trip to the space station. Vande Hei, 54 years old, is a retired U.S. Army colonel who spent 168 days in orbit on missions to the space station in 2017 and 2018. Dubrov, 43, is preparing for his first space trip.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft will launch together with the space station at the fast orbit assembly point, taking advantage of the perfect timing of Bekonur’s scheduled take-off, and quickly arrive at the orbital docking station at 7:07 am Eastern Time (1107 GMT).

The crew on the space station will temporarily swell to 10 people until the outgoing Soyuz MS-17 crew leave the research laboratory a week later.

With commander Sergey Ryzhikov, flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins (Kate Rubins) ) The docking of the Soyuz MS-17 space shuttle is scheduled for April 16th at 9:33 pm Eastern Time (0133 GMT GMT). The Soyuz capsule is scheduled to land on the grasslands of Kazakhstan with a parachute at 0:56 AM Eastern Time (0456 GMT) on April 17.

Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins were launched from Baikonur on October 14. They will return to Earth on April 17, ending their 185-day mission.

On January 27, an astronaut took a photo of the Crew Dragon “Resilience” spacecraft during a space walk outside the International Space Station. Image source: NASA

After the Soyuz crew rotation is completed, SpaceX and NASA will be allowed to launch the second crew member Crew Dragon to the space station on April 22.

The Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft was refurbished after a test flight with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in April last year. At 6:11 (10:11 a.m. EST) (1011 GMT), it was launched from launch pad 39A. twenty two

An all-veteran team will fly into space above a Falcon 9 launcher powered by a reusable first-stage booster, and SpaceX was able to recover after Crew-1 lifted off in November last year.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough is a 53-year-old former Army helicopter pilot and commander of the Crew-2 mission. He is a veteran of two previous space missions, including the flight on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 2008 and the long-term expedition to the space station in 2016 and 2017.

The pilot of Crew 2 is Megan McArthur, 49, who has only flown a space shuttle once in her career. McArthur was an oceanographer before being selected as a NASA astronaut. She flew on the Space Shuttle Atlantis during a maintenance mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009. This will be her first trip to the International Space Station.

Japanese astronaut Hoshihiko Hoshihiko and French-born European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet (Thomas Pesquet) will also participate in the Crew-2 mission. Hoshide, 52, is an aerospace engineer with decades of experience in Japan’s space program. This is his third space flight. It was his mission on the space shuttle Discovery in 2008 and then spent four months on the space station in 2012.

Pesquee is a 43-year-old former Air France pilot who had previously led to the space station under his leadership. He lived and worked on the space station in 2016 and 2017, flying to the complex on the Soyuz mission with Russian astronaut Oleg Novitskiy, who will be later this month Crew 2 arrived at the space station two weeks before docking.

Crew 1 commander Mike Hopkins, Japanese mission expert Soichi Noguchi, NASA astronaut Shannon Walker and pilot Victor Victor Glover boarded the International Space Station in February. Image source: NASA

Assuming that the Crew-2 mission takes off on April 22, Kimbruff and his crew will arrive at the space station at 5:29 AM Eastern Time (0929 GMT) on April 23 for automatic docking.

Their arrival will begin a five-day handover with Crew-1 astronauts, when the space station will receive 11 crew members briefly.

Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to board the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft from the space station and disembark from the space station on April 28, Eastern Daylight Time (0900 GMT). On that day, at 12:35 pm Eastern Time (1635 GMT), the “Crew Dragon” capsule will launch its Draco thrusters to target the parachute assisted splash and land on the Florida coast.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and SpaceX officials conducted a phased operational readiness review on Monday to confirm the target date for the Crew-2 launch and docking and the return of the Crew-1 mission to Earth. The April 15th “flight readiness review” will formally determine the launch date of the Crew-2 mission.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.




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