Home / Science / Dragon team rehearsals for launch day, first-look weather forecast, looks good – Spaceflight Now

Dragon team rehearsals for launch day, first-look weather forecast, looks good – Spaceflight Now



NASA commander Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur, European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide, stand in the inlet arm of the crew leading to Crew Dragon hatched at pad 39A during a dress rehearsal. Sunday Credit: SpaceX

After completing a rehearsal for launch day over the weekend, the four astronauts preparing for Thursday’s takeoff with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket were mind blowing and spending time with their families in Florida before leaving Earth. This is six months.

Forecasters with the US Space Force’s 45th Air Squadron predicted an 80% acceptable air flow for launch at 6:11 a.m. EDT (1011 GMT) on Thursday from Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center’s. NASA All four astronauts, led by NASA veteran commander Shane Kimbrough, will fly with the Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station.

Kimbrough and NASA teammates Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide of Japan and Thomas Pesquet from France – all with space flight experience – fit in some SpaceX pressure clothing early on Sunday and ride a Tesla Model SUV. X From the crew cabin at Kennedy goes to pad 39A, the astronauts use the same timeline they will follow on the day of launch and leave the suite at the Neil Armstrong Operation Building and the early check-out building before 3.00. PM EDT (0700 GMT)

They arrived at launch pad less than half an hour later to board the Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft aboard a 215 ft (65 m) Falcon 9 rocket. Return to the crew cabin for questions before sunrise on Sunday.

The “dry maneuver” is a practice run by SpaceX’s astronauts and support teams, allowing the crew to wear and tighten the dragon capsule.

Pesquet, an astronaut with the French-born European Space Agency, said on Monday everything was going through Thursday. The mission will be the second space station crew-based revolving flight by SpaceX under a multi-billion dollar contract with NASA that provides trips to the building for European, Japanese and Canadian astronauts.

“We are focusing on training,” Pesquet said Monday morning. “There was only … three days to go before the launch. Everything is going fine. The rocket is ready. The spaceship is ready. “

“Actually, we have a few days of distance that we don’t need at the end, so now the rocket is going to sit on the launch pad today and tomorrow, before the final preparations on Wednesday and then on the day. that Thursday we will be ready for launch, ”said Pesquet, who spent 196 days in orbit on his previous trip to the space station. The crew is in good shape, high-minded. The family was at the cape and everything was fine. We are trying to enjoy our last few days on Earth, six months before the leave of this world. ”

Astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth for a trip off the coast of Florida in late October.

Hoshide will take on the space station’s Expedition 65 crew commander next week, assuming NASA astronaut Shannon Walker, Walker, and her teammate – Mike Hopkins Victor Glover. And Japanese astronaut Soichinoguchi is scheduled to return to Earth on April 28 aboard the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft, which will end its mission launched in November.

Crew-2 astronauts – Thomas Pesquet, Akihiko Hoshide, Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur – waved to the observers as they exited the crew cabin early Sunday at the Neil Armstrong Operation Building and Checkout Building. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.Credits: NASA / Aubrey Gemignani.

Later this year, Pesquet will be appointed commander of the space station.Pesquet worked as a spacecraft engineer in the European industry and for the French space agency, then as a pilot for Air France before he was elected as an astronaut. ESA in 2009, he made his first astronautics debut in 2016.

On his first space flight, Pesquet launched and landed on a Russian Soyuz capsule, which has a design rooted in the 1960s, he told reporters Monday that he expected a similar ride. During the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket that burns kerosene and liquid oxygen fuel like Russia’s venerable Soyuz launcher.

The Crew-2 mission is the first time SpaceX has used reusable boosters and the Crew Dragon spacecraft for its astronaut missions.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” Pesquet said. “Everyone who flies on Dragon and Falcon 9 loves it. Getting back to Earth is quite difficult. But they are the same in all spacecraft “

He said SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft automation made vehicles safer. Under normal conditions, the capsule will fly into and out of the space station with an autopilot.

Crew-2 astronauts pose with a Falcon 9 rocket that will be launched into orbit.Credit: SpaceX.

“For us, the implication is that we don’t take many actions in improper situations,” said Pesquet, who is an instructor in Air France’s pilot program. But the meaning is that you are ready to handle the situation. Your perception of the situation is unbelievable.

“You have a big screen that shows you what’s going on in every way,” Pesquet said. “Data priorities have been pre-analyzed by the system. The color coding is awesome. The way the information is laid out is awesome. You always know what’s going on.

“Soyuz is unbelievably reliable. But you have to understand all that information is scattered and disseminated in every corner of your dashboard with digital gauges and analog gauges, ”says Pesquet.“ That’s why training is so much longer. I think it is awesome. We will like it and I think it makes the system more reliable overall. ”

As forecasters predict favorable weather at a Florida launch location early Thursday, officials may have to monitor the decline in Atlantic weather.

There is a “moderate” risk of adverse conditions in the Atlantic Ocean Falcon 9 booster landing area roughly eastern South Carolina – and there is a low probability of unfavorable upper winds above the platform. release SpaceX and NASA staff will continue to assess declining winds and maritime status at locations across the Atlantic to assess whether conditions are acceptable for dragon capsule splash in the event of in-flight cancellations; or not

A Tesla Model X with two Crew-2 astronauts piloted by the Kennedy Space Center news site en route to platform 39A for Sunday’s rehearsal.Credit: Stephen Clark / Spaceflight Now.

“The wet and unstable pattern will continue in central Florida as the front boundary remains suspended throughout the area,” the weather team wrote in Monday morning forecasts. In some places due to the low pressure wave moving along the zone over the next 2 days

“On Wednesday, high pressure began to build up and pushed the unrest south throughout the day. On Thursday morning, the high pressure centered near Arkansas, producing strong winds north along the space coast due to the pressure gradient between the altitude and the outbound line. “The Guardian wrote.

“The primary weather of concern on Thursday morning is the devastating storm winds associated with this intense pressure gradient.”

At launch time on Thursday, forecasters expect 17 to 22 mph north-east winds, temperatures around 68 degrees Fahrenheit and slightly low clouds.

There is also an 80% chance of good weather for the opportunity to launch a reserve at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT) Friday.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1




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