SpaceX and NASA safely deliver 4 Astronauts to the ISS


DM-1 // Photo: Ryan Bale

Tonight at 11pm EST, SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft with Astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker, and JAXA Astronaut Soichi Noguchi riding onboard. Shortly they will be opening the hatches between the ISS and Crew Dragon and will join the Expedition 64 crew that launched on a Soyuz rocket on October 14th.



Crew Dragon Approaching the ISS

After troubleshooting a small air leak issue before fueling, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched from Launch Complex 39a at 7:27pm EST carrying the crew of 4 into orbit around the Earth. While the second stage achieved a nominal orbit, the first stage successfully guided itself down and made a successful propulsive landing on SpaceX's Autonomous Droneship "Just Read The Instructions". This first stage booster will be used on the next crewed mission, Crew-2. The toubleshooting didn't stop there, shortly after separating from the second stage there were some problems with the thermal control system and propellant heaters on the capsule. Both were solved rather quickly and did not pose a threat to the crew, the propellant was still well above safe limits as this issue was being worked.



Sentinel-6a // Photo: NASA/Randy Beaudoin




Next up for SpaceX is the launch of the Sentinel-6A Michael Freilich satellite from Space Launch Complex 4E at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After a long time of not launching from that pad, flames will be returning at 12:17pm EST as the Falcon 9 lifts off carrying the satellite into a Sun Synchronous Orbit around the Earth. You can read more about this mission here.