SpaceX’s next astronaut launch for NASA, set for Wednesday from Kennedy Space Center, is one of three missions on the company’s schedule this week from launch pads in Florida and California. The crew mission will get top priority, a SpaceX official said, as managers watch downrange sea conditions and technicians try to resolve final technical issues before liftoff.
SpaceX teams and the four crew members set for blastoff this week to the International Space Station completed dress rehearsals Sunday at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, familiarizing the astronauts with their launch day checklist and testing out the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry them into orbit.
The multinational crew scheduled to ride a SpaceX rocket into orbit Wednesday arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Saturday as ground teams rolled their Falcon 9 booster and Dragon Endurance spacecraft to the launch pad, resuming work suspended earlier in the week as Hurricane Ian moved across Florida.
NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Saturday to begin the final few days of launch preparations before they depart on a five-month expedition on the International Space Station. The crew completed a a dress rehearsal Sunday, when they boarded the Dragon spacecraft on launch pad 39A to practice for launch day. SpaceX followed that with a test-firing of the Falcon 9’s main engines at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT).