Countdown to Launch: NASA and SpaceX Crew-2 Mission

Liftoff set for Friday, April 23, at 5:49A EDT marks the second operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Four space explorers are heading to the International Space Station for a six-month stay. It will take them 23 hours to reach their destination.

April 20, 2021

On Friday, April 23, NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA astronaut Megan McArthur, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide are scheduled for liftoff in a refurbished SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A at 5:49A EDT. Crew-2 is scheduled to dock with the ISS on Saturday, April 24 at 5:10A EDT. The Crew Dragon, known as Endeavor, was the same spacecraft that flew last summer for the Demo-2 mission.

Crew-2 will continue the tradition of choosing a zero-g indicator. Previous zero-g indicators have been a plush Earth toy, a pink and blue dinosaur, and a plush baby Yoda. The item used to indicate zero gravity, when Crew-2 has reached space, is going to be revealed on launch day.

Photo by: NASA/SpaceX/ISS

NASA/SpaceX/ISS

Once Crew-2 reaches the International Space Station, they will be responsible for conducting about 260 scientific experiments including one that has the ability to increase research for the upcoming Artemis program.

To catch up on the previous NASA and SpaceX missions, stream SPACE LAUNCH LIVE on discovery+.

Next Up

The James Webb Space Telescope Launches!

Finally! It was initially proposed way back in 1998 and named the James Webb Space Telescope in 2002. After a decade of delays and over 10 billion dollars past its original budget, NASA’s next great observatory finally launched from the European Space Agency’s Guiana Space Centre in South America.

Here Comes Artemis I (Rescheduled, again)

NASA's long-awaited Artemis 1 uncrewed moon mission and next generation of spacecraft has been delayed for a second time. The rocket was initially scheduled to launch on Aug. 29, 2022, at 8:33 AM ET, but was delayed due to an issue with the engine bleed. Watch Space Launch Live: Artemis-1 on Science Channel to see the moment of liftoff. (Launch Date Pending) (Updated Sept 7, 11:00AM)

Quiz: Test Your Space Exploration Knowledge

Ahead of the historic May 27th NASA and SpaceX crewed space launch, test your space exploration knowledge!

6 Months in Space Permanently Ages Bones by 10 Years

Astronauts on long-term space missions can experience bone loss equivalent to two decades of aging. New research suggests more weight-bearing exercises in space could help offset that decline.

How Astronomers Use a Trick of Gravity to See the Most Distant Objects in the Universe

Let’s say you’re an astronomer (work with me here) and you want to take a picture of something incredibly, deeply far away. You know, the typical business of astronomy.

South Korea Joins Space Race by Sending its First Spacecraft to the Moon

South Korea is launching its first lunar probe to the moon on August 4th. The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO) or Danuri, developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) is being launched to study moon carters, magnetic fields, and surface weathering.

How Exoplanets Became the Next Big Thing in Astronomy

To date, we know of over 5,000 planets outside the solar system. And astronomers suspect that there may be *checks notes* around a trillion more in our galaxy alone. The search for exoplanets is one of the hottest topics in astronomy, with expensive telescopes and giant collaborations all searching for the holy grail of the 21st century: an Earth 2.0, a habitable world like our own.

What We’ve Already Learned From James Webb? (Hint: it’s a lot)

That was worth the wait. Just a quick handful of months since its historic launch on Christmas Day, the James Webb Space Telescope has flown to its observing position, unfolded its delicate instruments and ultra-sized mirror, and run through a suite of checks and alignments and calibrations. The team at NASA behind the telescopes released their first batch of images from the science runs, and besides being gorgeous, they're powerful.

Why Astronomers Care About Super-Old Galaxies?

A long time ago, our universe was dark.It was just 380,000 years after the big bang. Up until that age, our entire observable cosmos was less than a millionth of its present size. All the material in the universe was compressed into that tiny volume, forcing it to heat up and become a plasma. But as the universe expanded and cooled, eventually the plasma changed into a neutral gas as the first atoms formed.

A Guide to this August’s Best Astronomy Attractions

Learn more about the exciting things happening in the night sky this month! From the rings of Saturn to the most popular meteor shower of the year, August 2022 has us stargazing all month.

Related To: