SpaceX Crew-1 launch

Monday, 16 Nov, 2020

Japanese astronaut Noguchi Soichi is among the four-member crew headed to the International Space Station for a six-month science mission.

The latest launch was bumped a day in order to give SpaceX's booster-landing platform enough time to get into position in the Atlantic, given the rough seas in the wake of Tropical Storm Eta.

The Crew-1 launch is now scheduled to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:27 p.m. on Sunday, with docking at the station planned for 27 hours later.

NASA turned to private companies to haul cargo and crews to the space station, following the 2011 retirement of its space shuttles.

The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock at the space station at about 11:00 pm Monday, November 16.

"The history being made this time is we're launching what we call an operational flight to the International Space Station", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters Friday.

But the launch was postponed for a day due to forecasts of gusty winds - remnants of Tropical Storm Eta - that would have made a return landing for the Falcon 9's reusable booster stage hard, NASA officials said.

The countdown is on for the next NASA and SpaceX launch from Cape Canaveral, set to lift off Sunday evening. He's set to pilot the SpaceX's Crew-1 Dragon capsule to the ISS. A live webcast streaming the launch will begin approximately four hours before takeoff.

"We are nearly finished with our contract with NASA, so we expect it to be completed here in the next two to three weeks", Suffredini said last week during an online panel discussion sponsored by the International Astronautical Congress.

Several Lightning Launch Commit Criteria (LLCC) are considered for a launch weather forecast.

This mission will mark the first time the US has used its own technology to send its astronauts into space after retiring the Space Shuttle program back in 2011.

SpaceX's Crew-1 will carry astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker of the American space agency and Soichi Noguchi of the Japanese space agency - JAXA. It was unclear if Musk has recently been at the center, and agency officials said the Crew-1 astronauts have been in quarantine and not in contact with Musk. They will joined by Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, making his third trip to space after previously flying on the USA shuttle in 2005 and Soyuz in 2009.

If Musk does test positive, he will have to isolate, and may only be able to communicate with the astronauts virtually, according to NASA.

The space agency is looking to save big by no longer having to buy seats on Russian Soyuz capsules for US astronauts. The company plans to reuse the first-stage booster for its next crew launch, next spring.