SpaceX gets approval for Crew Dragon launch ISS next week from NASA. After completing a formal Flight Readiness Review, the green light will transport four astronauts to the International Space (ISS) next week.
According to Phys.org, it will be the first crew flight using a recycled Falcon and Dragon craft.
The Liftoff will be on April 22nd at 6:11 AM ET at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will feature the Endeavour, the same capsule that carried NASA’s Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to and from the space station last Spring. While the Falcon 9 rocket will feature the same first stage that launched astronauts to the ISS back in November.
Falcon 9, a two-stage rocket is designed to carry payloads and crew into orbit. The rocket is powered by the same Merlin engine as the Larger Falcon Heavy. The big brother rocket has been used in 122 launches. While Dragon is a capsule with 16 Draco thrusters that help maneuver its orbit and the parachutes help during reentry and landing.
Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Akihiko Hoshide and the European Space Agency’s Thomas Pesquet are the mission astronauts. These men will spend 6 months aboard the ISS, to replace 4 Crew-1 members returning back to earth.
According to Bill Gerstenmaier, SpaceX, Vice President said the company has noticed a slight issue with liquid oxygen propellant while being pumped into the first stage tanks than expected by them.
This minor problem will be taken care of by the engineers to ensure it poses no safety hazards. If everything goes according to plan, we can watch the astronauts takeoff on schedule and dock at the station on April 23rd. You can watch the launch live on NASA TV.