Crew-3 Astronauts Launch to Space Station Alongside Microgravity Research

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon on Sunday, Oct. 31. The mission includes three NASA astronauts – mission Commander Raja Chari, Pilot Tom Marshburn, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barron – as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, who will also serve as a mission specialist.

Aboard Dragon with the crew will be more than 400 pounds of supplies and hardware, including over 150 pounds of which they will use to conduct experiments aboard the space station. Here is some of the research riding with them into low-Earth orbit.

(more…)

SpaceX CRS-23 Successfully Completes Mission, Returning Critical Science Back to Earth

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), October 1, 2021 (CASIS PR)  – On September 30, SpaceX completed its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) when its Dragon spacecraft safely splashed into the water off the coast of Florida. SpaceX CRS-23, contracted by NASA, brought back more than 25 payloads representing science and technology demonstrations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. These investigations aim to leverage the unique space-based environment of the orbiting platform to bring value to our nation and drive a robust market in low Earth orbit.

Below highlights some of the ISS National Lab-sponsored investigations that returned on SpaceX CRS-23.

(more…)

SpaceX CRS-23 Dragon Returns Experiments on Brain, Muscles, Liver to Earth

Japanese astronaut Akihiko Hoshide works aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

by Melissa Gaskill
International Space Station Program Research Office

HOUSTON — The 23rd SpaceX commercial resupply services mission returned samples from scientific experiments on the International Space Station. Back on Earth, scientists anticipate quick access to their experiments for additional observations and analyses.

Dragon undocked from the space station Sept. 30 and and splashed down near NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the evening.

(more…)

Space BD Strengthening Relationship with the Australian Space Industry to Promote the Space Business in Australia

Two Australian academic satellites successfully launched on August 29

TOKYO — Space BD, a leading Japanese space startup, announces the launch of two Australian satellites through Space BD’s small satellite deployment service on August 29, 2021 at 3:14 a.m. (EDT). Space BD has been appointed by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as the private partner for the small satellite deployment service from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module Kibo since 2018. And it has led to the commercialization of Japanese space assets as a private sector.

This was the first satellite launch for the State of Western Australia, the first satellite launch for of the Australian Research Council Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles and their Applications (CUAVA), and the first overseas satellite launch for Space BD.

(more…)

Cargo Dragon Docks with International Space Station

Credit: NASA

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — While the International Space Station was traveling about 260 miles over the Western Australia, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the forward-facing port of the orbiting laboratory’s Harmony module at 10:30 a.m. EDT, Monday, Aug. 30. Flight Engineers Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA monitored operations.

Among the science experiments Dragon is delivering to the space station are:

(more…)

Cutting-Edge Science Launches on NASA’s SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, topped with the uncrewed Dragon spacecraft, soars upward after lifting off from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 3:14 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021. Dragon will deliver new science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station for NASA and SpaceX’s 23rd commercial resupply services mission. (Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The latest SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is bound for the International Space Station after launching at 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying more than 4,800 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies, and spacecraft hardware.

(more…)

SpaceX Set to Launch Cargo Dragon Vehicle to ISS on Saturday Morning

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Saturday, August 28 for Dragon’s launch of its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission. Liftoff is targeted for 3:37 a.m. EDT, or 7:37 UTC, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. A backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, August 29 at 3:14 a.m. EDT, or 7:14 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported SpaceX’s Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions, which launched astronauts to the International Space Station, and launch of SXM-8. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft supporting this mission previously supported SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9’s second stage about twelve minutes after liftoff and autonomously dock to the space station on Sunday, August 29 at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT, 15:00 UTC.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

SpaceX CRS-23 to Launch Multiple ISS National Lab-Sponsored Investigations Into Low Earth Orbit

The International Space Station, photographed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli following the undocking of his Soyuz-TMA on 23 May 2011. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), August 24, 2021 (CASIS PR) – In the early morning of Saturday, August 28, SpaceX intends to launch its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center no earlier than 3:37 a.m. EDT, will send more than 4,800 pounds of critical supplies and research to the orbiting laboratory. Among the cargo flying on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft are more than a dozen payloads sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, including physical and life sciences investigations, technology demonstrations, and student-led experiments.

(more…)

Making Space-Based Research More Affordable—With a Little Help From the Girl Scouts

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla,, August 25, 2021 (CASIS PR) – Using ants, plants, and even brine shrimp, a group of Girl Scouts will be among the first researchers to help test a new autonomous research platform on the International Space Station (ISS) that is helping to expand the affordability of microgravity research. 

The Faraday Research Facility, developed by ISS U.S. National Laboratory Commercial Service Provider ProXopS, LLC., will launch on SpaceX’s upcoming 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission. If validated, the platform—capable of housing up to 12 remotely operated “microlab” experiments—could provide a cost- and resource-effective way to transport, conduct, and return spaceflight investigations.  

(more…)

Join the CRS-23 Virtual NASA Social to Experience the Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Social media users are invited to register to take part in another global virtual NASA Social for the next SpaceX delivery of NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission is targeted to launch at 3:37 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

(more…)

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Program Delay: 3+ Years

An instrumented mannequin sits in the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Demo-1 mission. (Credit: SpaceX)

Updated Oct. 9, 2019 at 9:08 am PDT with paragraph summarizing some of the reasons for the schedule delays.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

There’s been a lot of discussion over the last week or so about NASA’s delay plagued Commercial Crew Program, which is designed to restore the nation’s ability to launch astronauts into orbit from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

Prior to SpaceX CEO’s Elon Musk’s Sept. 28 webcast update on the Starship program, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine expressed frustration that the company wasn’t more focused on the Crew Dragon program that hasn’t flown astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) yet.

Asked about the delay by a CNN journalist after giving an update on Starship’s progress on Sept. 28, Musk questioned whether Bridenstine was asking about delays at with commercial crew or with NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). He laughed and mugged for the camera.

Musk’s rabid fans cheered it to be a sick burn against against a slow-moving space agency. The administrator diplomatically called it not helpful. He also revealed the cause of his pique.

(more…)