Astronauts successfully relocate SpaceX's Resilience—first for a commercial crew port
On Monday, astronauts successfully relocated the SpaceX Crew-1 spacecraft from the forward port of the International Space Station's (ISS) Harmony module to the space-facing port. This is the first commercial crew port relocation at the ISS. The maneuver was performed in preparation for the arrival of the next crew later this month. Harmony's forward port will be used to dock their SpaceX Crew-2 spacecraft.
Four astronauts successfully undocked and re-docked Resilience in 38 minutes
The relocation maneuver was performed by NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience was relocated in 38 minutes, concluding at 11:08 hours GMT. Another Crew Dragon Spacecraft named Endeavour will bring ISS's new crew on board as a part of the Crew-2 mission.
Docking port vacated for Crew-2 spacecraft launching on April 22
The incoming crew is composed of NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. These astronauts will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A in Florida on April 22. Unlike the Soyuz MS-17 relocation maneuver on March 19 which called for manual flying, the Crew Dragon operates autonomously.
SpaceX will refurbish Resilience spacecraft for first all-civilian spaceflight
Crew-1 is slated to return to Earth in late April or early May. Earlier this week, SpaceX announced that it plans to refurbish the Resilience spacecraft for the first all-civilian spaceflight led by Shift4 Payments CEO Jared Isaacman. Once Resilience returns from the ISS, the vacant Harmony space-facing port on the ISS will be used to dock a Dragon cargo spacecraft.
NASA-SpaceX Commercial Crew Program will send six crews to ISS
When it docks later this summer, the Dragon cargo spacecraft will bring supplies and the first set of new solar arrays for the ISS. Meanwhile, the Crew-1 mission is the first of six certified crew missions planned by NASA and SpaceX as part of the Commercial Crew Program. In fact, the Crew Dragon capsule which was relocated was designed especially for this program.