SpaceX Crew-2 Mission

    Mar 28, 2021

    SpaceX Crew 2 Mission


    In this article we will be exploring mission details into the SpaceX Crew-2 mission set to launch on the 22nd of April this year on the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavour Spacecraft. On the 22nd of April this year the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavour is set to launch on a mission to deliver the second wave of astronauts flying on a SpaceX spacecraft to the ISS (International Space Station). The prime crew consists of Spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough, pilot Katherine Megan McArthur, mission specialist Akihiko Hoshide, and mission specialist Thomas Pesquet. Akihiko Hoshide, Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut will serve as the second Japanese ISS commander during his stay. A veteran astronaut, he became the third Japanese astronaut in history to walk in space. According to wikipedia, Hoshide’s first mission was on board Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” to the ISS. Robert Shane Kimbrough is to be the commander on this flight. Born June 4th, 1967, he is a retired United States Army officer, and an excellent NASA astronaut. During the Expedition-50 mission to the ISS he was commander of the International Space Station for a duration of his six months stay, and returned to Earth in April of 2017. K. Megan McArthur, an American oceanographer, engineer, and NASA astronaut that served as Capsule Communicator for the space shuttle and space station, is the pilot in command of the Crew Dragon C206 for this mission. Her astronaut career started in July of 2000 when NASA selected her to be a mission specialist, after which she reported for training in August of 2000. Thomas Gautier Pesquet, a French aerospace engineer, and European Space Agency astronaut, is the second mission specialist to join on the Endeavour flight to the ISS. He successfully completed his training in November, 2010, after having been selected by the ESA (European Space Agency) as a candidate in May of 2009. Pesquet was part of Expedition 50 and Expedition 51 as flight engineer. The planned launch time is 10:11 UTC on April 22, 2021, and would be a spectacular sight seeing the Falcon 9 Block 5 rockets take the Endeavour up and out of the Earth’s atmosphere into orbit to meet with the Harmony module of the International Space Station.Falcon 9 Block 5 is a partially reusable two stage launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX and is powered by the Merlin engines which uses liquid ogygen and rocket grade Kerosene as it’s propellant. It’s the fifth version of the Falcon 9 Full thrust, and produces more thrust than any before it. Other improvements SpaceX has made greatly improves the reusability of the rocket, contributing to the overall decrease in the costs of space flight. Harmony, also known as Node 2, connects the laboratory modules of the United States, Japan, and Europe, and has four sleeping cabins available for crew on board. The ‘utility hub’ for the ISS was launched into space aboard the space shuttle flight STS-120, before the end of the space shuttle program. After temporarily being attached to the Unity module, Harmony was moved to its new location, connected to the Destiny module, where it will serve as the host for the Endeavourspacecraft, asit includes the International Docking Adapter through which the Dragon C206 can safely dock. Not only will this mission deliver astronauts to the ISS, but the Crew Dragon vehicle will also be used to transport 440 lbs (200 kilograms) of pressurized cargo to the space station, in order to support the ongoing scientific and technological advancements on the orbiting lab according to space station manager Joel Montalbano. "Last year, we celebrated 20 years of continuous human presence onboard the International Space Station," Montalbano said during the briefing. In preparing for Crew-2’s arrival, crew-1 that consists of the four astronauts first sent to the ISS on a spacecraft manufactured by SpaceX, and who are still onboard the ISS, will have to relocate their Crew Dragon Capsule to a different port attached to the space station in order to allow their fellow astronauts to dock on the Harmony Module as planned. Mission teams on the ground are all being prepared, and drilled, just in case things don’t go as planned, that the crew of Endeavour can safely get back on the ground in the case of any unexpected emergency. Recovery ships from SpaceX will be stationed off the coast of Florida on the Atlantic side. Both NASA and SpaceX teams are taking this upcoming launch very seriously, and are all working very hard to make this a successful launch.




    SpaceX announces first “All civilian” space mission

    Feb 1, 2021

    Elon Musk gave major news when he announced now for the first time ever, they're going to send four civilians into an orbit around the earth. None of the civilians will have any prior astronaut experience. They will fly on a crew dragon capsule into orbit around the earth later in 2021. It will be launched from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The length of the journey is said to be between 2-4 days.

    “When you’ve got a brand new mode of transportation, you have to have pioneers,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk told NBC news. He also announced that tech billionaire Jared Isaacman, founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, owns and flies one of the vintage Migfighter jets and has around 600 flight hours under his belt, will be leading the mission, occupying the first seat. Isaacman has purchased three additional seats aboard the mission. He has given St. Jude two seats on the mission. The first seat will be reserved for a St. Jude ambassador with direct ties to the mission, while the other went to a former St. Jude patient, now working as a frontline health care worker. The fourth and last seat will be awarded from a competition of people who donate to a fundraiser for St. Jude. Anyone from the public can apply.

    The mission is known as ‘Inspiration4’ in recognition of the “four-person crew’s mission” seeks to raise money to support St. Jude’s children’s research hospital with a turnover of up to a staggering 200 million dollars and Jared Isaacman would be putting in the first 100 million dollars from his own money. One hell of a kick start!

    It's not clear exactly how long the trip will be or where in orbit it will fly. Musk told Isaacman on Monday, "Wherever you want to go, we'll take you there."(1) Upon being asked the question of whether Jared Isaacman can take control of the craft, Elon Musk jokingly said that he can take it wherever he wanted but clarified that the craft will be remote-controlled from within the spaceX headquarters. The crew will undergo training led by SpaceX including prep for launch a top a Falcon 9 rocket prior to the mission. They will be made aware of how to react in or to control an emergency situation. They will be made to understand the mechanics of the mission and the aircraft itself. The crew member who will be selected must be “physically and psychologically fit for training,” as per the rules. They must be under 6 feet and 6 inches tall and weigh less than 250 pounds. They will undergo SpaceX simulations but considering that they have no prior experience, it will be a great feat for the human race and a welcoming invite to the local public.

    “Inspiration4 is the realization of a lifelong dream and a step towards a future in which anyone can venture out and explore the stars. I appreciate the tremendous responsibility that comes with commanding this mission and I want to use this historic moment to inspire humanity while helping to tackle childhood cancer here on Earth,” Isaacman said. This multi-day journey will be orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes along a customized flight path. Upon conclusion of the mission, Dragon will reenter Earth’s atmosphere for a soft water landing off the coast of Florida as told by SpaceX. If the mission gets delayed past 2022, crew members will each get an “alternate prize” of $150,000, Kathy Lueders, who led the crew program and is currently NASA’s human spaceflight chief, tweeted after the Inspiration4 reveal on Monday. She was “excited to see one of your original goals Crew come to be with the expansion of new commercial activities beyond our own in low-Earth orbit.”

    Musk said that NASA has been briefed on the Inspiration4 mission and they are supportive. With this mission, Elon Musk hopes to open space travel and a once in a lifetime experience to the general public. With time, he intends to make the stars accessible to people of all statuses.


    References: (Official Interview with CNN) (Snippets) (1)

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