NASA and SpaceX Receive Green Light for Crew 7 Launch

Key Points

  • 🚀 NASA and SpaceX have given the green light for the Crew 7 launch after the Flight Readiness Review.
  • 📅 The launch is scheduled for August 25th at 3:49 a.m. ET (07:49 UTC).
  • 👩‍🚀 This mission will bring three astronauts and one cosmonaut to the International Space Station for around a six-month stay, conducting experiments and maintenance.
  • 🛰️ A launch day rehearsal was performed, including a countdown simulation and familiarization with the launch complex.
  • 🌦️ The launch forecast shows an 85% chance of acceptable weather, increasing to 90% if the launch is delayed by a day.

After conducting the Flight Readiness Review (FRR), NASA and SpaceX have granted approval for the Crew 7 mission. The launch is set to take place on August 25th at 3:49 a.m. ET (07:49 UTC).

This upcoming mission is slated to transport three astronauts and one cosmonaut to the International Space Station. They will stay aboard the station for approximately six months, during which they will engage in various experiments and perform maintenance tasks.

Static fire test of B1081 ahead of the Crew 7 Launch (Credit NASA)

Following the completion of the FRR, a comprehensive launch day rehearsal was executed. The crew members donned their spacesuits and were transported to Launch Complex 39A, where they boarded the Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft. This rehearsal simulated a complete countdown procedure, allowing both the crew and mission control to familiarize themselves with the process once more before the actual launch day.

After concluding the launch rehearsal, the crew disembarked from the capsule and returned to the crew checkout building.

Subsequently, SpaceX proceeded with the customary static fire test, a prelude to crewed missions. The Falcon 9 rocket was fully fueled and its 9 Merlin 1D engines were ignited for around 6 seconds. Following data analysis, SpaceX confirmed the readiness of the Falcon 9 for the Crew 7 launch on the specified date.

The international crew for this mission includes NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli as the Mission Commander, European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen as the Pilot, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa as a Mission Specialist, and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov as another Mission Specialist.

Crew 7 strapped in Crew Dragon Endurance during the dress rehearsal (Credit SpaceX)

The 45th Weather Squadron has provided its initial forecast for the launch. The current projection indicates an 85% likelihood of favorable weather conditions on launch day. If the launch schedule is postponed by a day, the forecast indicates a 90% probability of acceptable weather.

Following the docking of Crew 7 with the Space Station, the Crew 6 members will initiate their preparations for their return journey aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour. The return is currently targeted for no earlier than September 1st, with the splashdown location in either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean, dependent on weather conditions.

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