Home / Science / Crew Dragon’s return has been postponed due to inclement weather – Spaceflight Now.

Crew Dragon’s return has been postponed due to inclement weather – Spaceflight Now.



NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, pilot Victor Glover, Crew Commander 1 Mike Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi, Japanese astronaut aboard the International Space Station.Credits: ESA / NASA / Thomas Pesquet.

The departure and return to Earth of four space station crews aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule was again postponed due to strong winds in the splash zone in the Gulf of Mexico. NASA and SpaceX officials are assessing opportunities for the next unlock and splash.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, along with NASA Commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and former International Space Station Commander Shannon Walker, should return to Earth on Wednesday.

NASA announced earlier this week that strong winds in the Gulf of Mexico had exceeded the Crew Dragon capsule limit for a safe splash, and the deadline for the spacecraft to take off from the space station is 5:55 PM EDT (2155 GMT. ) On Friday to prepare for landing On Saturday sea at approximately 11:36 a.m. EDT (1536 GMT).

The space agency said late Thursday that wind conditions in the Gulf of Mexico were still unfavorable for the return of the Crew-1 mission.

“Mission teams from NASA and SpaceX will meet again on Friday to review Crew-1’s chances of a safe return,” NASA said. Suitable for both splash and rebound. “

Earlier this week, Walker delivered command of the space station’s Expedition 65 crew to Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, who arrived at the orbital checkpoint on April 24 with his teammate Shane Kimbrough, Megan. McArthur and Thomas Pesquet, European Space Agency astronauts, on another Crew Dragon capsule.

Hoshide, Kimbrough, McArthur and Pesquet – flying in the Crew-2 mission – plan to stay aboard the space station until late October.

The Crew-1 mission, which will end in the next few days, is the first “operational” flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft after a two-month test flight with two crew members last year. It is also the first Crew Dragon flight to close to the 210-day capsule certification limit.

Hopkins and his teammates launch November 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft during port movement outside the International Space Station April 5.Credit: NASA.

The autonomous maneuver will take the Dragon spacecraft a safe distance away from the space station, providing a platform for retrograde braking to get the ship out of orbit to re-enter the atmosphere on Saturday.

After landing under four parachutes, the astronauts will be rescued by the spacecraft by the SpaceX recovery team, they will undergo a preliminary check-up before returning ashore by helicopter, and then the crew will travel by plane to the Their home base at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The extended mission means the International Space Station will continue to host an expansion of the crew of 11 astronauts and astronauts.The international crew represents four countries: the United States, Russia, Japan and France.

NASA’s space station manager Joel Montalbano said earlier this month that the space station’s life support system could accommodate all 11 residents for up to 20 days if needed.The restrictions include the station’s oxygen generator and carbon dioxide removal system. He said

The number of crews recorded on the space station is 13 astronauts, the most recent in 2011 during a visit to the space shuttle.

“We had to fly more equipment for the additional crew,” Montalbano said. We will arrange temporary sleep for the crew because we have a lot of people. ”

Some astronauts plan to sleep in a Crew Dragon capsule, which acts as a lifeboat during extended stays at the space station.

SpaceX and NASA have seven Crew Dragon Splashdown zones off the coast of Florida, with locations in the Gulf of Mexico near Pensacola, Panama City, Tallahassee and Tampa. There are also three locations in the Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Cape Canaveral, east of Daytona beaches, and northeast of Jacksonville.

Weather criteria for Crew Dragon splashes are wind speeds of up to 12 mph or approximately 10.5 knots.Managers also need a mix of optimum wave height and range, and a low chance of lightning.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1




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