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NASA SpaceX Crew-2 “Go” for April 22 Launch to the International Space Station

The crew for the second long-duration SpaceX Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2, are pictured during a training session at the SpaceX training facility in Hawthorne, California. From left are, Mission Specialist Thomas Pesquet of the (ESA (European Space Agency); Pilot Megan McArthur of NASA; Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA; and Mission Specialist Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Credit: SpaceX

The Flight Readiness Review (FRR) for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a planned liftoff at 6:11 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 22, 2021, from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the second crew rotation flight of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and the first with two international partners. The flight follows certification by NASA for regular flights to the space station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch, on a Falcon 9 rocket, is targeted for 6:11 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 22, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon is scheduled to dock to the space station about 5:30 a.m. Friday, April. 23. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The Crew-2 flight will carry NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur – who will serve as the mission’s spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively – along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)  astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who will serve as mission specialists to the space station for a six-month science mission.

All media participation in the following news conferences will be remote except where specifically listed below, and only a limited number of media will be accommodated at Kennedy due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please note that the Kennedy Press Site facilities will remain closed throughout these events for the protection of Kennedy employees and journalists, except for a limited number of media who will receive confirmation in writing in the coming days.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Thursday, April 15

6 p.m. – Flight Readiness Review (FRR) Media Teleconference at Kennedy (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Flight Readiness Review) with the following participants:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, NASA Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
  • Norm Knight, deputy manager, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson
  • SpaceX representative
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • Randy Repcheck, acting director, Operational Safety, Federal Aviation Administration

Friday, April 16

1 p.m. (approximately) – Crew Arrival Media Event at Kennedy with the following participants (limited, previously confirmed in-person media only):

  • Steve Jurczyk, acting NASA administrator
  • Bob Cabana, center director, Kennedy
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, spacecraft commander
  • NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, pilot
  • JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, mission specialist
  • ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, mission specialist

Saturday, April 17

9:45 a.m. – Virtual Crew Media Engagement at Kennedy with Crew-2 astronauts:

  • NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, spacecraft commander
  • NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, pilot
  • JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, mission specialist
  • ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, mission specialist

Monday, April 19

1 p.m. – Science Media Teleconference to discuss investigations Crew-2 will support during their mission

  • David Brady, associate program scientist for the International Space Station Program at Johnson will discuss how the Commercial Crew Program is boosting research aboard the orbiting laboratory. 
  • ISS U.S. National Laboratory Senior Program Director Dr. Liz Warren will discuss Tissue Engineering, which uses a combination of cells, engineering, and materials to restore, maintain, improve, or replace biological tissues. Scientists will leverage microgravity, which allows cells to grow without scaffolding and in ways that mimic tissues in the human body.
  • Dr. Lucie Low from the National Institutes of Health will discuss Tissue Chips, complex bioengineered 3D models that mimic the structure and function of human organ systems. Scientists use tissue chips to test the potential effects of drugs on those tissues and to study diseases.
  • ISS Program Scientist for Earth Observations Dr. William Stefanov will discuss Crew Earth Observations. Astronauts have taken more than 3.5 million images of Earth from the space station, contributing to one of the longest-running records of how Earth has changed over time.
  • NASA Project Manager for ISS Power Augmentation Bryan Griffith and Boeing’s director for the ISS Structural and Mechanical Development Project Rick Golden will discuss the ISS Roll-out Solar Array compact solar panels that roll open like a yoga mat. In 2017, the basic design underwent testing on the space station to determine its strength and durability, and NASA will deliver the first two of six new arrays that will be delivered this summer to augment the station’s power.

Tuesday, April 20

TBD – Prelaunch News Conference at Kennedy (no earlier than one hour after completion of the Launch Readiness Review) with the following participants:

  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, Johnson
  • Kirt Costello, chief scientist, International Space Station Program, Johnson
  • Norm Knight, deputy manager, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson
  • Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
  • Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station Program, JAXA
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • Brian Cizek, launch weather officer, U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron

Wednesday, April 21

10 a.m. – Administrator Countdown Clock Briefing with the following participants (limited, previously confirmed in-person media only):

  • Steve Jurczyk, acting NASA administrator
  • Bob Cabana, Kennedy center director
  • Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president and director general, JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • NASA astronaut
  • NASA astronaut

Thursday, April 22

2 a.m. – NASA Television launch coverage begins. NASA Television will have continuous coverage, including docking, hatch opening, and welcome ceremony.

7:30 a.m. (approximately) – Postlaunch news conference with the following participants:

  • Steve Jurczyk, acting NASA administrator
  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Hiroshi Sasaki, vice president and director general, JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • SpaceX representative

Friday, April 23

5:30 a.m. – Docking

7:35 a.m. – Hatch Opening

8:05 a.m. – Welcome Ceremony from the International Space Station with the following participants:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Hiroshi Yamakawa, president, JAXA
  • Josef Aschbacher, director general, ESA



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