After NASA completed a formal flight readiness assessment,Gave SpaceX the green light, To send four astronauts to the International Space Station next week. The launch day is tentatively set to be at 6:11 a.m. Eastern time on April 22 (6:11 p.m. on the evening of the same day locally), and it will be launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
This launch, code-named Crew-2, represents multiple milestones for SpaceX and commercial space. The most important thing is that the rockets and manned capsules used in the launch are all “refurbished products,” which is the first of its kind among commercial rockets. The crew cabin used by Crew-2 (pictured above) was the one that was used in the Demo-2 mission in May last year and was named Endeavour by the team members. Now after the refurbishment, I really can’t see it. It was scorched when it just fell back to the surface. As for the rocket used, B1061 was chosen, which was the rocket used in the Crew-1 mission. It seems that B1061 should be a “dedicated” rocket for NASA, and NASA must have paid special attention to it.
It is worth mentioning that the driver of Crew-2 is a female astronaut, Megan McArthur from the United States. This is the second time McArthur has been in space. Her last mission was to repair the STS-125 of the Hubble Telescope for the last time. McArthur is also the wife of Robert Behnken, the astronaut of the Demo-2 mission. It can be said that the couple are the first passengers of Crew Dragon. Other members include commander Shane Kimbrough from the United States, Akihiko Hoshide from Japan, and Thomas Pesquet from France, all of whom have experience working on the space station.
But just before the launch, there seemed to be an unexpected episode. SpaceX vice president Bill Gerstenmaier said that the company has noticed that it seems that Falcon 9 has been loaded with excessive liquid oxygen since its launch. This amount is very small—just a few inches more—but SpaceX still evaluates it carefully and is completely transparent to NASA. In addition, all previous Falcon 9s were launched normally under this condition, so it seems that this episode should not affect the launch schedule.