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Image Credit: NASA.

Crew Dragon to be relocated ahead of Starliner arrival at the ISS

The SpaceX Crew-2 Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to be relocated to another ISS docking port ahead of the arrival of the uncrewed Boeing CST-100 Starliner vehicle.

The capsule, called “Endeavour”, wil be boarded by its four passengers, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, at around 08:30 UTC on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. About two hours later at 10:45 UTC, Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the forward docking port of the ISS’ Harmony module. After a short flight, the four astronauts are expected to dock with the Harmony module’s space-facing docking port at 11:32 UTC.

This relocation will be performed to free Harmony’s forward port ahead of the arrival of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on July 31, 2021.

Crew Dragon Endeavour

Crew Dragon Endeavour blasted off from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on April 23, 2021 atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The capsule, which had previously flown NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS in May 2020, successfully rendezvoused and docked with the orbital laboratory on April 24. It will stay at the International Space Station for another four months, before undocking and returning to Earth in early-to-mid November 2021.

Liftoff of Crew Dragon Endeavour atop a Falcon 9 rocket on April 23, 2021. Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani.
Liftoff of Crew Dragon Endeavour atop a Falcon 9 rocket on April 23, 2021. Image Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani.

The OFT-2 Boeing CST-100 Starliner

The Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) mission will be an uncrewed redo of the failed OFT-1 test flight in December 2019. The capsule is scheduled to launch atop an United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V N22 rocket on July 30, 2021 from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at the Cape Canaveral SFS in Florida. If all goes according to plan, the Starliner will rendezvous with the ISS and subsequently dock to Harmony’s forward port on July 31. The mission will be the second orbital flight of a Starliner spacecraft, the vehicle’s first docking with the ISS and the first time two different commercial U.S. American crew vehicles will be docked to the station at the same time.

The OFT-2 Starliner vehicle seen during the transfer from the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) near Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral SFS. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance.

Sources:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-air-crew-dragon-port-relocation-on-space-station

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-launch-of-boeing-s-orbital-flight-test-2

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