Following the delayed launch of the most recent Falcon Heavy launch, NASA and SpaceX have pushed the Crew 7 launch to August 25th.
The delay in the launch is due to turning the pad over from its Falcon Heavy configuration to a Crew launch configuration. This will give the teams on the ground more time to ensure that everything is ready for the Crew 7 launch.
While it may seem simple to just roll the Falcon 9 out to the pad and launch after a Falcon Heavy launch, ground systems workers must first switch the reaction frame from Falcon Heavy to Falcon 9 setups. The reaction frame is what the base of the rockets attach to on the launch pad. The clamps that hold Falcon Heavy and Falcon 9 are different and can’t be used interchangeably.
Learn more: https://t.co/keatfaIEtg pic.twitter.com/4fJEqQT15s
— NASA Commercial Crew (@Commercial_Crew) August 3, 2023
Another change they need to make is to the top of the transporter erector from a fairing configuration to a capsule configuration. When there is a satellite in a fairing attached the top of the T/E has supports and various power connections running to the rocket and for Crew/Cargo configurations that are removed so the Crew Access Arm has room to swing into place.
The delay also gives NASA more leeway in the International Space Stations schedule for other vehicles visiting the Space Station and provides consecutive launch opportunities if the August 25th attempt is delayed further.
Crew 7 will feature NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli (Mission Commander), European Spacey Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen (Pilot), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa (Mission Specialist), and Russian cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov (Mission Specialist).
The Crew Dragon making this trip will be Crew Dragon Endurance, which most recently flew the Crew 5 mission in March 2023 and has spent ~333 days in space.
If the launch occurs on August 25th, the 4 person crew will dock with the ISS around 2:45 a.m. ET on August 26th following about a 23-hour trip from launch to docking.
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