SpaceX: Crew-2 Astronaut Mission Rolling Absolutely Live!

SpaceX: Crew-2 Astronaut Mission Rolling Absolutely Live!

Elon Musk’s firm “SpaceX” features the “Crew-2 Astronaut Mission” or Crew-2 mission. The second SpaceX operational mission was launched On the 23rd of April 2021 in the Commercial Crew Program. The mission marks the first of its kind with the astronauts onboard and a previously used booster rocket. 

In this article, we are sharing the live updates of the mission with every intricate detail. 

Key Takeaways

  • SpaceX had launched a group of astronauts for NASA on the 23rd of April 2021. The Elon Musk-founded company records sending ten astronauts in total to Space in under a year. 
  • A Falcon 9 rocket has carried the astronaut quad to Space in the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft named “Endeavour”.

Crew Members In Crew-2 Mission of SpaceX

On the 28th of July 2020, ESA, JAXA and NASA had confirmed their astronaut’s assignments on board. Here is the complete list –

Prime Crew Members

Position
Astronaut
Spacecraft Commander
Shane Kimbrough (NASA Expedition 65/66 - Third Spaceflight)
Pilot
K Megan McArthur (NASA Expedition 65/66 - Second Spaceflight)
Mission Specialist 1
Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA Expedition 65/66 - Third Spaceflight
Mission Specialist 2
Thomas Pesquet (ESA Expedition 65/66 - Second Spaceflight

Backup Crew Members

Position
Astronaut
Spacecraft Commander
Not Assigned
Pilot
Not Assigned
Mission Specialist 1
Satoshi Furukawa (JAXA)
Mission Specialist 2
Mathias Maurer (ESA)

The Complete Crew-2 Mission Timelines

We have strived hard to keep up with the latest timelines of the SpaceX based Crew-2 astronaut mission that NASA and SpaceX provided. We have included starting the journey to Space where the timeline begins from the 16th of April, 2021. 

Let’s make you stay hooked!

The 16th of April, 2021 (03:10:00 IST) - One Week’s Wait For SpaceX’s Crew-2 Launch

SpaceX is eagerly waiting to launch its astronauts into space for NASA. It is just a week away, after which the astronauts will begin a months-long trek to the International Space Station (ISS).

As decided, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the four astronauts on the Crew-2 mission on the 22nd of April 2021 (Thursday) for NASA. The lift-off had been set for 6:11 A.M. EDT (10:11 GMT). The space agency held a Flight Redness Review briefing on the 15th of April 2021, at 7:00 P.M. EDT (23:00 GMT) for discussing the mission. 

The Crew-2 mission is about to launch from the historic Pad 39A of NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket from Space X and the Crew Dragon Endeavour will launch the mission. The Dragon Endeavour had launched SpaceX’s first crewed flight for NASA in May last year and was known as Demo-2.

The Crew-2 is ready to launch four persons as crew members – the NASA astronaut duo Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, a Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide alongside the European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. The four space travelers have been fixed to join the seven other crewmates when they arrive at the station on the 23rd of April. Amongst them, the four crewmates will return to Earth on the 28th of April. However, the other three who had already arrived earlier this month on a Russian Soyuz will continue their extended stay.

The 17th of April, 2021 (18:13:09 IST) - Astronauts of Crew-2 Mission Arrives At the Launch Site

The four prime astronauts of NASA’s Crew-2 mission have arrived at the Kennedy Space Center launch site for the launch stipulated on the 22nd of April. They have already arrived at the Landing Facility, which is a former Shuttle Landing facility. The launch has been scheduled for the 22nd of April 2021 at 6:11 A.M. EDT (10:11 GMT).

The Crew-2 astronauts will conduct a virtual press conference at 9:45 A.M. EDT (13:45 GMT).

April 21, 2021 (18:24:51 IST) - Launch Of Crew-2 Got Delayed

SpaceX and NASA are forced to delay the launch of the Crew-2 astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Owing to the bad weather downrange, the launch will not be made earlier than the 23rd of April 2021 (Friday). The lift-off time is rescheduled for 5:49 A.M. EDT (9:49 GMT).

“Although conditions around the launch site were expected to be favorable for lift-off, mission teams also must consider conditions along the flight path and recovery area in the unlikely event of a launch escape,” NASA officials said in a statement today.

23rd of April, 2021 

(00:56:27 IST) - SpaceX Is Ready For The Crew-2 Launch

Space X is just a day afar from launching the Crew-2 astronauts to the ISS or International Space Station. The webcast of NASA is scheduled to begin at 1:30 A.M. EDT (06:30 GMT). It will then run continuously via docking at the space station on Saturday.

(03:31:10 IST) - SpaceX Launch Expected To be Visible From The US East Coast

The Crew-2 astronaut of SpaceX decided to lift off from Florida’s Space Coast on the 23rd of April (Friday) before sunrise. There seems to be a chance for the observers from the United States’ East Coast to visualize the rocket’s ascent into orbit. 

As per Space.com’s columnist Joe Rao, skywatchers with the clear sky possess a chance to see SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage as it makes a streak towards Space. It depends on the viewer’s location along the East Coast, when the Falcon 9 will be visible and for how long. 

(11:10:24 IST) - The Crew-2 Launch Webcast Is Live!

NASA is live broadcasting the SpaceX Crew-2 launch to the International Space Station. We are now over four hours away from the lift-off. The lift-off is scheduled at 5:49 A.M. EDT (09:49 GMT).

(11:41:06 IST) - The Crew-2 Astronauts Are Almost Suited-up

The four prime astronauts from NASA are about to complete getting into their Space X spacesuits and be ready for the takeoff. The crew is scheduled to exit the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at 2:29 A.M. EDT (06:29 GMT). They are about to board their Tesla Model X vehicles. They will be driven to the Launch Complex 39A. They will arrive at the launch site at 2:54 A.M. EDT (06:54 GMT).

(12:33:59 IST) - Prime Astronauts Arrive At The Launch Pad

The Crew-2 astronaut quad has arrived at the Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They are about to lift off in less than three hours. The astronauts will start boarding the Crew Dragon Endeavour in about 15 minutes. 

(12:28:44 IST) - 2 Of 4 Astronauts Have Boarded The Crew Dragon Endeavour

The astronauts from NASA, namely Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, are now inside the Crew Dragon Endeavour. JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are next in the line.

(00:56:27 IST) - All Four Crew-2 Astronauts Have Boarded The Crew Dragon

All the Crew-2 astronauts have boarded the Crew Dragon Endeavour for the scheduled predawn launch to the ISS. The astronauts have already closed their SpaceX space suit helmets and are ready for leak checks. They have swiveled their seats upwards, making it into the launch position for the scheduled launch.

(13:13:50 IST) - Crew Dragon Hatch Is Closed For The Launch

The astronauts are ready for takeoff. The Crew Dragon Endeavour’s hatch has been closed and well latched for the flight. The four prime astronauts are strapped into their seats. The preparations are progressing smoothly for the Falcon 9 launch attempt from the Launch Complex 39A at the Florida Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center offers the second operational mission to the International Space Station in the Commercial Crew program. 

The black-clad close-out crew of SpaceX are around 16 minutes ahead of schedule for their launch preparation work.

Crew-2’s mission commander Shane Kimbrough and the pilot Megan McArthur have already completed their air to ground checks for communication. This check ensures that all four of the astronauts are able to communicate with the flight controllers alongside each other while the spacecraft is ascending to orbit. Meanwhile, the suit leak checks have also been completed. 

The launch for the day is scheduled at 5:49 A.M. EDT (09:49 GMT). The launch team could not trace any technical glitches. The weather forecast for the launch seems pretty favourable, bearing a 90% probability of accepting the launch time conditions. 

(13:40:20 IST) - Countdown Begins And Proceeding Smoothly

The morning’s launch is not much far, and the countdown is running smoothly. The communication checks within the flight controllers, launch team and spacecraft, have already been completed. 

Now, the launch team is cautiously reviewing the vehicle data for deciding if the fueling operations can start. Shortly, the SpaceX’s launch director is expected to flash the “OK” command to begin loading the propellants into the 65 meters (215 foot) tall two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Liquid oxygen (LOX) and the rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1) powers Falcon 9. 

The launch team did not face any technical glitches at this time. 

(14:03:25 IST) - The Closeout Crew Departed The Launch Pad

The crew is going through a few steps ahead of their schedule. They are passing a few extra minutes on the Crew Dragon spacecraft with a couple of rounds of “Rock, Paper, Scissor” game. 

SpaceX’s close-out crew has already departed the Launch Pad 39A ahead of today’s Crew-2 astronaut launch on the Crew Dragon Endeavour and a Falcon 9 rocket. Today’s countdown is smooth with its proceedings. There seem no vehicle or weather concerns. 

NASA has captured some of the videos of the Crew-2 prime crews dedicated to the game of Rock, Paper Scissors inside the Endeavour after the hatch closed.

Note: The hand signal game the Crew-2 members played was not the usual Rock, Paper Scissor game. It was a game that astronaut Thomas Pesquet enjoyed as a kid when growing up in France, NASA confirmed. 

(14:38:28 IST) - Falcon 9 Is Ready For The Propellant Load

Falcon 9 is cleared now to commence the propellant loading. The launch director of SpaceX has just signaled an “OK” to start the fueling of the first stage of the 2015 foot-tall two-stage Falcon 9 launch vehicle. 

The members are retracting the crew access arm, and the Crew Dragon’s emergency launch escape system will now get armed. The spacecraft is getting prepared to separate from the launch vehicle in the unlikely circumstance of an anomaly during the ascent or on the launch pad. Following the system being armed, propellant loading will take place. 

The Crew Dragon possesses an advanced abort system having eight SuperDraco engines and a couple of parachutes. These parachutes can be instantly activated as soon as they are armed on the launch pad all the way through the orbital insertion. 

The astronaut quad has already closed and locked their respective visors for the about-to-happen launch. 

The SpaceX team is currently not working on any technical issues with either the Crew Dragon or the Falcon 9. The weather signals “Green” for the launch. 

The launch is now scheduled for 5:49 A.M. EDT or 09:49 GMT.

(14:38:28 IST) - SpaceX Falcon 9 About To Launch In 10 Minutes

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at this moment is carrying the four astronauts -Shane, Megan, Akihiko and Thomas on board the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Things are going as planned, and they are cleared for the 5:49 A.M. EDT launch.

The mission management team has already been polled, and all of them indicated a “Go” for the launch. The astronaut quad has themselves strapped into the seats and is currently going through the pre-launch checklists. They are monitoring the spacecraft systems up close in preparation for their ascent to orbit. 

No vehicle or technical issues are being worked on at the current time. There persists a limited chatter on the internal communication loops. The weather conditions seem favorable while the Eastern range marks “Green” for the launch.

(15:15:51 IST) - SpaceX Falcon 9 About To Launch In 5 Minutes

The spacecraft Crew Dragon has already transitioned to its internal power for the launch to be held in just 5 minutes from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center of Florida. 

The propellant tanks of Falcon 9 have been topped off with the LOX or liquid oxygen alongside rocket-grade kerosene (RP-1). As soon the countdown nears T-0, the flight computers will assess the engine steering system of Falcon 9. The propellant tanks of the vehicle will get pressurized to the flight pressure. 

It is T-3.3 seconds. The engine controller is commanding the Merlin engines ignition sequence to commerce and starts building up to the maximum power for launch. 

The Crew-2 mission commander Shane Kimbrough and the pilot Megan McArthur are conducting the final launch preparations in the Crew Dragon spacecraft. Mission specialists Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide are assisting them.

No technical glitches have been found by far. Weather conditions are favorable, marking a “Green” signal for the launch.

Here is presented a brief of the final countdown and the ascent to the orbit timelines:

TIME STAMP
ACTIONS
-00:01:00
Command flight computer to start the final pre-launch checks.
-00:01:00
Propellant tank pressurization to flight pressure commences.
-00:00:45
SpaceX Launch Director verifies a "Go" for the launch.
-00:00:03
Engine controller commands engine ignition sequence to start.
-00:00:00
Falcon 9 liftoff
+00:00:58
Max Q (moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket).
+00:02:33
1st stage main engine cutoff (MECO)
+00:02:36
1st and 2nd stages separate
+00:02:44
2nd stage engine starts
+00:07:15
1st stage entry burn.
+00:08:47
2nd stage engine cutoff (SECO-1)
+00:08:52
1st stage entry burn
+00:09:22
1st stage landing
+00:12:00
Crew Dragon separates from 2nd stage
+00:12:46
Dragon nosecone open sequence begins

(15:20:28 IST) - SpaceX Falcon 9 & Crew Dragon Hits A Lift-off Heading Towards The Orbit

The Crew Dragon spacecraft and the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket have already lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center’s 39A Launch Complex.

Shane Kimbrough (NASA Crew-2 Commander) and Megan McArthur (Pilot) report that the spacecraft and the launch vehicle are performing nominally. This report comes after a 12 minutes climb to the orbit.

(15:30:46 IST) - Falcon 9 Lands On The Drone Ship

The initial stage of the Falcon 9 SpaceX’s rocket for today’s Crew-2 launch has successfully landed on the drone ship. This marks Falcon’s second landing and the second crewed flight. It had launched the Crew-1 astronaut mission for NASA to the ISS in November 2020.

(15:36:37 IST) - Crew Dragon Reach Safely In The Orbit

The early morning launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center was spectacular. The Crew Dragon and its four boarded astronauts have reached orbit. 

Crew Dragon has already separated from the second stage of Falcon. The nosecone deployment is upcoming as the spacecraft is commencing its approach to the International Space Station (ISS).

(16:15:15 IST) - Crew Dragon Is Chasing The ISS

The Crew Dragon Endeavour of SpaceX is now chasing the ISS or the International Space Station. It will be a 23-hour flight to the laboratory in orbit.

The Crew Dragon has already performed a “phasing burn”. This is one of the many manoeuvres for keeping the spacecraft on track for arriving at the International Space Station or ISS on Sunday, the 24th of April 2021. The Docking has been set for 5:10 A.M. EDT (09:10 GMT).

The Crew-2 astronauts will take off their SpaceX-issue spacesuits sometime. They will get into more comfortable clothes while heading to the Space Station.

(17:01:18 IST) - NASA & SpaceX Gets Ready For Post-Launch Press Conference

SpaceX and NASA are expected to arrange a press conference at 7:30 A.M. EDT (11:30 GMT). They will discuss the successful launch of the International Space Station today. 

(21:41:18 IST) - Crew-2’s Amazing Launch Photos Are Released

The photos that came out as a result of Crew-2’s launch for NASA was spectacular. Amy Thompson has taken the picture that clearly shows Falcon 9’s 1st and 2nd stages after separation.

(23:56:42 IST) - Elon Musk Comments “Feels Like A Dream”

Shortly after the Crew-2 launch, Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX in a news conference, talked about the importance of flying crew by the company. 

“I’m just really proud of the SpaceX team and honored to be partnered with NASA and helping with JAXA and ESA as well,” he said.

24th of April, 2021

(08:06:53 IST) - The Crew-2 Astronauts Awakes For Docking Day

The Crew-2 astronaut quad has already awakened aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour as to what their docking day at the ISS will be. The astronauts woke up after 10:00 P.M. EDT (02:00 GMT) to begin their Flight Day 2.

The Endeavour is scheduled for docking itself at the Space Station on the 24th of April 2021, Saturday at 5:10 A.M. EDT (09:10 GMT). This was following a series of orbital manoeuvres. A fly-around of the ISS and closing burns to the dock at the forward port of the U.S.-built Harmony module of ISS.

(15:47:11 IST) - Crew-2 Of SpaceX Docks At ISS

The Crew-2 Dragon spacecraft of SpaceX has successfully docked itself at the ISS on the 24th of April, 2021 (Saturday). It made history with the first used SpaceX capsule that carried astronauts to the orbiting lab.

The Crew Dragon Endeavour has docked at the station at 5:08 A.M. EDT (09:08 GMT) for delivering NASA astronauts to their new residence for the upcoming consecutive six months. 

Following a series of the leak checks, the hatches between the ISS and the Endeavour will be opened at 7:15 A.M. (11:15 GMT). A welcome ceremony has been scheduled with all eleven astronauts at 7:45 A.M. EDT (11:45 GMT).

(16:42:13 IST) - Hatches Get Opened Between ISS And The Crew Dragon

The hatches officially opened between the ISS and SpaceX’s Crew-2 Dragon capsule.

The Crew-2 astronauts opened the ultimate hatch between the spacecraft pair at 7:05 A.M. EDT (11:05 GMT). The two vehicles had sailed 267 miles over the South Pacific Ocean.

Next, the Crew Dragon’s crew will install a couple of ducts for the air circulation before getting into the International Space Station. Inside the station, the Expedition 64 crew is eagerly waiting for their new crewmates. 

(17:42:34 IST) - All Eleven Crew Members Gather On ISS

The joint crews of the International Space Station and SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission have accumulated to form a larger group of 11 people in orbit. 

“We’re so excited to be here, we’re ready to get to work,” Crew-2 pilot Megan McArthur told acting NASA astronaut Steve Jurczyk after entering the station.

However, there will not be all 11 people on the space station for so long. The four astronauts from the Crew-1 will return to Earth on the 28th of April, 2021. Seven of the total gathered crew members will stay back.

Thanks for joining us. We will keep updating the timeline with the latest updates.

Sophia Silva

When it comes to reporting about new technology or innovation, nobody is better than Sophia Silva who has been nurturing technology and innovation for the last 10 years.

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