The Crew Dragon from SpaceX first launched this summer. The two NASA astronauts aboard, Behnken and Hurley, made history, in part because it was the first privately-owned spacecraft to launch into space. Now the Crew Dragon is heading out to space again, the first time NASA has ever allowed the reuse of both spacecraft and rocket hardware.
So when is the launch date of this historic Crew Dragon operational flight? Originally scheduled for October 23, NASA recently announced they’re moving the launch back. But the change in date isn’t about the spacecraft.
Rather, the International Space Station(ISS) has been busy lately, and NASA doesn’t want any conflict with another mission, particularly the Soyuz launch. The Soyuz is supposed to leave ISS around October 21.
Now the Crew Dragon launch is set for Halloween. But if you want to watch, you’re going to have to set your alarms for bright and early (and hope the skies are clear for takeoff). The Crew Dragon mission is currently set to take off at 2:40 a.m. Eastern on October 31.
Who will be on board this time around? Four astronauts total: Michael Hopkins, Commander; Victor Glover, pilot; Shannon Walker, mission specialist; and Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. The first three are NASA astronauts while Noguchi is from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The operational flight is planning on docking at the ISS and the astronauts are expected to stay for six months.
Will you be watching the launch from Kennedy Space Center in the wee hours of Halloween morning?
- An easy start to exploring anything is a good book! Astronomy for Kids can be used without a telescope to help your children develop a love of space.
- If your soon-to-be astrophysicist is ready for the next step in exploring the sky, check out this fantastic Beginner Telescope, available on Amazon!
- A fun, rocket-fuel-free experiment for you and your kids to learn about launching rockets? Check out this DIY Rocket Experiment that uses water power to launch!