SpaceX Crew-2 Mission
Mar 28, 2021
In this article we will be exploring mission details into the SpaceX Crew-2 mission set to launch on the 22nd of April this year on the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavour Spacecraft. On the 22nd of April this year the Crew Dragon C206 Endeavour is set to launch on a mission to deliver the second wave of astronauts flying on a SpaceX spacecraft to the ISS (International Space Station). The prime crew consists of Spacecraft commander Shane Kimbrough, pilot Katherine Megan McArthur, mission specialist Akihiko Hoshide, and mission specialist Thomas Pesquet. Akihiko Hoshide, Japanese engineer and JAXA astronaut will serve as the second Japanese ISS commander during his stay. A veteran astronaut, he became the third Japanese astronaut in history to walk in space. According to wikipedia, Hoshide’s first mission was on board Space Shuttle Discovery as a Mission Specialist to deliver the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” to the ISS. Robert Shane Kimbrough is to be the commander on this flight. Born June 4th, 1967, he is a retired United States Army officer, and an excellent NASA astronaut. During the Expedition-50 mission to the ISS he was commander of the International Space Station for a duration of his six months stay, and returned to Earth in April of 2017. K. Megan McArthur, an American oceanographer, engineer, and NASA astronaut that served as Capsule Communicator for the space shuttle and space station, is the pilot in command of the Crew Dragon C206 for this mission. Her astronaut career started in July of 2000 when NASA selected her to be a mission specialist, after which she reported for training in August of 2000. Thomas Gautier Pesquet, a French aerospace engineer, and European Space Agency astronaut, is the second mission specialist to join on the Endeavour flight to the ISS. He successfully completed his training in November, 2010, after having been selected by the ESA (European Space Agency) as a candidate in May of 2009. Pesquet was part of Expedition 50 and Expedition 51 as flight engineer. The planned launch time is 10:11 UTC on April 22, 2021, and would be a spectacular sight seeing the Falcon 9 Block 5 rockets take the Endeavour up and out of the Earth’s atmosphere into orbit to meet with the Harmony module of the International Space Station.Falcon 9 Block 5 is a partially reusable two stage launch vehicle designed and manufactured by SpaceX and is powered by the Merlin engines which uses liquid ogygen and rocket grade Kerosene as it’s propellant. It’s the fifth version of the Falcon 9 Full thrust, and produces more thrust than any before it. Other improvements SpaceX has made greatly improves the reusability of the rocket, contributing to the overall decrease in the costs of space flight. Harmony, also known as Node 2, connects the laboratory modules of the United States, Japan, and Europe, and has four sleeping cabins available for crew on board. The ‘utility hub’ for the ISS was launched into space aboard the space shuttle flight STS-120, before the end of the space shuttle program. After temporarily being attached to the Unity module, Harmony was moved to its new location, connected to the Destiny module, where it will serve as the host for the Endeavourspacecraft, asit includes the International Docking Adapter through which the Dragon C206 can safely dock. Not only will this mission deliver astronauts to the ISS, but the Crew Dragon vehicle will also be used to transport 440 lbs (200 kilograms) of pressurized cargo to the space station, in order to support the ongoing scientific and technological advancements on the orbiting lab according to space station manager Joel Montalbano. "Last year, we celebrated 20 years of continuous human presence onboard the International Space Station," Montalbano said during the briefing. In preparing for Crew-2’s arrival, crew-1 that consists of the four astronauts first sent to the ISS on a spacecraft manufactured by SpaceX, and who are still onboard the ISS, will have to relocate their Crew Dragon Capsule to a different port attached to the space station in order to allow their fellow astronauts to dock on the Harmony Module as planned. Mission teams on the ground are all being prepared, and drilled, just in case things don’t go as planned, that the crew of Endeavour can safely get back on the ground in the case of any unexpected emergency. Recovery ships from SpaceX will be stationed off the coast of Florida on the Atlantic side. Both NASA and SpaceX teams are taking this upcoming launch very seriously, and are all working very hard to make this a successful launch.