The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft
(Photo : NASA Official Blog)
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
(Photo : NASA Official Blog)

NASA's SpaceX Crew is set to go on their shortest spaceflight mission yet, as they prepare to relocate the Crew Dragon spacecraft in preparation for the arrival of the new crewmembers launching in late April 2021.

According to Space Online Policy's report published on Monday, March 29, Expedition 64 astronauts will jump inside SpaceX's Crew Dragon Resilience to change docking ports.

The SpaceX Crew-1 comprises NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Soichi Noguchi.

This mission will last less than an hour.

How to watch the SpaceX Crew-1's shortest interstellar mission?

Digital Trends' report on Monday, March 29, said that NASA would be broadcasting the event live online.

Those who wish to watch the monumental event may do so by going to NASA TV's Official Stream through this link.

The report also recommends following NASA's Official Twitter account, should there be any adjustments on the schedule of the event.

Also Read: NASA: SpaceX Dragon Crew-1 Set to Launch Astronauts to Orbit After Engine Failure Finally Sorted 

NASA's First US Commercial Crew Port Relocation: Timeline and Mission Details

On Monday, April 5, at 6:29 a.m., SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts have been tasked to undock the Crew Dragon Resilience from the forward port of the International Space Station's (ISS) Harmony Node 2 and dock the spacecraft at the space-facing port at 7:15 a.m.

The relocation aims to free up Harmony module's forward port for the incoming Crew Dragon Endeavour to dock when they arrive in late April, according to NASA's official blog published on Monday, March 29.

The Crew Dragon Endeavour is scheduled to launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A in Florida on Thursday, April 22.

NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will head the SpaceX Crew-2 as spacecraft commander and pilot, respectively.

Meanwhile, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet will join the team as mission specialists.

The SpaceX Crew-2's arrival will allow the SpaceX Crew-1 to prepare to return home, and if mission priorities and weather cooperate, will be scheduled five days after Crew-2's arrival.

The incoming crew will be the first mission of NASA's Commercial Crew Program to include two international partner crewmembers.

Meanwhile, the departure of SpaceX Crew-1 will leave the ISS' space-facing port, allowing another Dragon cargo spacecraft to dock in its place.

The said Dragon cargo spacecraft, which remains unknown at this time, will be carrying NASA's first set of new solar arrays for the space station along with several tons of supplies.

The spacecraft is scheduled to launch sometime between June and August 2021 and will require the freed up space-facing port to enable robotic extraction of the solar arrays.

Canadarm2, a Remote Manipulator System used to perform Station maintenance and perform "cosmic catches," will be used to obtain the solar arrays from the trunk of the Dragon cargo spacecraft.

Related Article: NASA, SpaceX to Share Secrets With Each Other to Avoid Space Crash 

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Written by Lee Mercado

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