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NASA, SpaceX retargeting Crew Dragon spacecraft launch on November 14

NASA is retargeting launch of the next SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for November 14.

“The Crew-1 mission will launch a few days after the Nov. 10 scheduled launch of NASA’s Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, following a thorough review of launch vehicle performance,” NASA said in a statement Monday.

The private spaceflight company is planning to send four astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA for a planned six-month stay.

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting 7:49 p.m. EST Saturday of Nov 14, for the launch of the first crew rotation mission to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The Crew Dragon spaceship is set for liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

If the mission blasts off as scheduled, the Crew Dragon and its four-person crew will glide to an automated linkup with the International Space Station’s Harmony module around 4:15 a.m. EST (0915 GMT) on Nov. 15, about eight and a half hour after launch.

On board will be Crew-1 commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Hopkins, Walker and Noguchi are spaceflight veterans while Glover will be making his first flight.

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The mission set for launch next month is designated Crew-1. It follows a 64-day Crew Dragon test flight to the space station that launched in May with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

The Crew-1 launch was delayed from Oct. 31 to allow time for SpaceX and NASA engineers to investigate a potential issue with Merlin rocket engines on the Falcon 9 rocket.

Managers of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission will hold a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT Oct. 28, to discuss the upcoming launch, including results from recent testing of the Falcon 9 Merlin engines following unexpected data SpaceX noted during a recent non-NASA launch.

Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

Briefing participants include:

• Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
• Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston
• Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX, Hawthorne, California

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