NASA
Shuffling Cars Around

Watch NASA Astronauts Take SpaceX Spacecraft for a Joyride

byVictor Tangermann
Apr 5
NASA

Astronauts had to make space for the next Crew Dragon mission.

Port Relocation

Four current crew members on the International Space Station took SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, nicknamed Resilience, for a spin early Monday morning.

The team, comprised of NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, departed from one docking port of the ISS to relocate to a different dock to prepare for an upcoming new crew arrival and the delivery of a new solar array for the station.

Traffic Jam

Resilience was moved from international docking adapter 2 (IDA-2) to IDA-3, on the opposite side of the station.

The dock relocation took a swift 38 minutes. Resilience effortlessly backed away from the station at around 3:30 am CST, to about 180 feet away.

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Its Draco thrusters then carried the four astronauts to IDA-3 on the Harmony module, the station’s internal connecting port and passageway to other labs and cargo ports.

Making Space for Crew 2

In just a matter of weeks, the next Crew Dragon mission will carry large solar panels in addition to a crew of four to the station. Once it arrives at the station, a large robotic arm will grab the panels for installation.

The robotic arm is only able to reach as far as IDA-2, forcing Resilience to relocate to a different docking port, as Ars Technica reports.

The mission, dubbed Crew-2, is slated to launch as soon as April 22, when it will be the first time a crew will fly to the International Space Station on board a reused Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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The vehicle, dubbed Endeavour, previously carried NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Boehnken to the station last year as part of the first crewed mission of SpaceX’s passenger spacecraft.

READ MORE: Four astronauts took a Dragon for a spin on Monday morning [Ars Technica]

More on SpaceX’s spacecraft: Crew Dragon Will Feature Massive Glass Dome


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