On November 2, 2020 NASA celebrated 20 years of occupancy of the International Space Station. The first crew to live on the station arrived on November 2, 2000. The Expedition 1 crew consisted of NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd, and cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev. They stayed on the station for 136 days before being replaced by the Expedition 2 crew. In the following 20 years over 240 individuals from 19 countries have visited the International Space Station. Now a new crew will soon be launching and adding to the number of visitors.
Astronauts are preparing to fly again from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with liftoff currently planned for 7:49 p.m. on Saturday, November 14. The Space X Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station is the follow up to the highly successful SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo 2 mission. That mission launched on May 30 and returned on August 2, 2020 with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. This test mission marked the first launch of astronauts from United States soil in nearly nine years and the first splashdown and water recovery since the Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975.
Now NASA is ready to proceed with the first operational flight of the Crew Dragon, designated the Crew-1 mission. The crew consists of NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The Crew-1 astronauts selected the name Resilience for their Dragon spacecraft, highlighting the dedication the teams involved with the mission have displayed and to demonstrate that when we work together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.
When Resilience arrives at the I.S.S., the crew will be welcomed aboard by the current Expedition 64 crew, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. This will mark the first time that the space station’s crew will expand to seven people. The additional help will increase the amount of crew time available for scientific research and experiments. The Crew-1 astronauts will spend their time aboard the International Space Station conducting new scientific research in areas such as botany, cancer, and new technology.
If everything goes as planned, the four members of the Crew-1 mission will remain on board the station for nearly six months. The Resilience will remain docked to the station and tested for the full length of a long duration space station expedition. The four crew members are currently scheduled to return to Earth and splashdown in the Resilience in May 2021. Even after 20 years of crews visiting the I.S.S., there is still much more to learn, and many more crews will continue to visit in the future.
Join us on Facebook for our “Riding Dragons: NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-1 Launch Watch Party” Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 7:30 PM EST! Check out the event with this link: https://fb.me/e/fypPVQoq1