Science & Technology

NASA, SpaceX Crew-6 Flight Crew and Launch Teams Ready for Countdown Dress Rehearsal

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen at sunrise on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-6 mission, Thursday, February 23, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission is the sixth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev are scheduled to launch on 1:45 a.m. EST on February 27, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

In the early-morning hours on Friday, February 24, NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, will participate in a countdown dress rehearsal at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for the upcoming Crew-6 launch, targeted for 1:45 a.m. EST Monday, February 27.

Rehearsal will begin with launch teams assisting Crew-6 crewmates into their SpaceX spacesuits inside the Astronaut Crew Quarters at the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building – just as they will on launch day. Next, the crew will take the elevator down to the ground floor and exit the building’s double doors, where Tesla Model Xs will be waiting to drive them the short distance to Launch Complex 39A.

Trip Healey, manager, Program Control & Integration for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, left, and Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program right, prepare to raise the SpaceX Crew-6 flag, Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission is the sixth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky

After they arrive at the launch pad, Bowen, Hoburg, Alneyadi, and Fedyaev will ride the launch tower’s elevator up to the crew access arm – the walkway they will use to enter Endeavour. Once securely seated inside, the crew will check their communications systems before the spacecraft’s hatch is closed. The rehearsal will conclude with the “Go/No-Go” poll for Falcon 9 fueling, which normally occurs about 45 minutes before liftoff.

On Thursday, February 23, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft Endeavour that will carry the crew to the International Space Station arrived at the launch complex after rolling out from the SpaceX integration hangar adjacent to the pad and was raised into a vertical position for launch. The Endeavour spacecraft previously flew NASA’s Crew-1, Inspiration4, and Axiom Mission-1 astronauts.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Dragon spacecraft on top is seen at sunrise on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as the crew access arm is swung into position as preparations continue for the Crew-6 mission, Thursday, February 23, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

The mission will carry two NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Stephen Bowen and Pilot Warren “Woody” Hoburg, along with UAE (United Arab Emirates) astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, who will serve as mission specialists, to the space station for a science expedition mission.

Crew members will spend up to six months at the microgravity laboratory before returning to Earth. The mission marks the fourth spaceflight for Bowen, who flew space shuttle missions STS-126 in 2008, STS-132 in 2010, and STS-133 in 2011. Crew-6 will be the first spaceflight for Hoburg, Alneyadi, and Fedyaev.

Beginning at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 26, NASA will offer blog coverage of launch-day activities on the Crew-6 blog. At 10:15 p.m. EST, tune in to a live launch broadcast on NASA TV or the agency’s website and follow along through countdown and other key mission milestones.

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