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News Entry# 419865
Sep 29 2020 (21:55) Watch live today: NASA, SpaceX preview Crew-1 astronaut mission to space station (

News Entry# 419865  Blog Entry# 4728725   
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By Staff 29 September 2020
NASA and SpaceX will hold a series of press conferences today to discuss the upcoming Oct. 31 launch of Crew-1, the first astronaut crew rotation mission by SpaceX for NASA. You can watch the briefings live here today, Sept. 29, beginning at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT). 
Crew-1 will launch four astronauts to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket. The mission is currently scheduled to liftoff on Oct. 31 at 2:40 a.m. EDT (0640 GMT) to ferry NASA astronauts Michael
Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station. 
At 11 a.m. EDT, NASA will hold a Commercial Crew program overview. 
At 12:30 p.m. EDT (1630 GMT), the space agency will hold a Crew-1 mission overview briefing. 
At 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the Crew-1 astronauts themselves will meet the press and public in a briefing. 

From NASA:
Editor's Note: This advisory was updated on September 28, 2020, to update the list of participants for the Commercial Crew news conference.
Editor's Note: This advisory was updated on September 22, 2020, to update the title for Crew-1 Mission Overview News Conference participant Benji Reed.
NASA will highlight the first crew rotational flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station with a trio of news conferences beginning 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 29. The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. The full astronaut crew flying on the mission also will be available for interviews.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 flight mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than Oct. 23, will carry astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker of NASA and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to the space station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
All media participation in these news conferences and interviews will be remote; no media will be accommodated at any NASA site. 
Briefings and participants include (all times EDT):
11 a.m. – NASA’s Commercial Crew Program News Conference with the following participants:
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
12:30 p.m. – Crew-1 Mission Overview News Conference with the following participants:
Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Kenny Todd, deputy manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Anthony Vareha, NASA flight director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
Benji Reed, senior director, Human Spaceflight Programs, SpaceX
Junichi Sakai, manager, International Space Station, JAXA
2 p.m. – Crew News Conference with the following participants:
Astronaut Michael Hopkins, spacecraft commander, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
Astronaut Victor Glover, pilot, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
Astronaut Shannon Walker, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
Astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission
3:30 p.m. – Round Robin Crew Interviews
Crew-1 astronauts will be available for a limited number of remote interviews following the news conference.
Following an Oct. 23 launch, the Crew-1 astronauts are scheduled to arrive at the space station the same day to join NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, as well as Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, both of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.
Michael Hopkins is commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-1 mission. Hopkins is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry. He will also serve as an Expedition 64 flight engineer aboard the station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2009, Hopkins spent 166 days in space as a long-duration crew member of Expeditions 37 and 38 and completed two spacewalks totaling 12 hours and 58 minutes. Born in Lebanon, Missouri, Hopkins grew up on a farm outside Richland, Missouri. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Illinois, and a master’s degree in aerospace engineering from Stanford University. Before joining NASA, Hopkins was a flight test engineer with the U.S. Air Force.
Victor Glover is the pilot of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and second-in-command for the mission. Glover is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. He also will be a long duration space station crew member. Selected as an astronaut in 2013, this will be his first spaceflight. The California native holds a Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering, a Master of Science degree in flight test engineering, a Master of Science degree in systems engineering and a master’s degree military operational art and science. Glover is a naval aviator and was a test pilot in the F/A‐18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and EA‐18G Growler aircraft.
Shannon Walker is a mission specialist for Crew-1. As a mission specialist, she will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight. She will also be responsible for monitoring timelines, telemetry, and consumables. Once aboard the station, Walker will become a flight engineer for Expedition 64. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004, Walker launched to the International Space Station aboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft as the co-pilot, and spent 161 days aboard the orbiting laboratory. More than 130 microgravity experiments were conducted during her stay in areas such as human research, biology, and materials science. A Houston native, Walker received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from Rice University in 1987, as well as a Master of Science degree and a doctorate in space physics, both from Rice University, in 1992 and 1993, respectively.
Soichi Noguchi will also be a mission specialist for Crew-1, working with the commander and pilot to monitor the vehicle during the dynamic launch and re-entry phases of flight, and keeping watch on timelines, telemetry and consumables. Noguchi will also become a long-duration crew member aboard the space station. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA, currently the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in May 1996. Noguchi is a veteran of two spaceflights. During STS-114 in 2005, Noguchi became the first Japanese astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside the space station. He performed a total of three spacewalks during the mission, accumulating 20 hours and 5 minutes of spacewalking time. He launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in 2009 to return to the station as a long-duration crew member. The Crew Dragon will be the third spacecraft that Noguchi has flown to the orbiting laboratory.
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office Tuesday night (Sept. 29). 
The mission, titled NROL-44, will lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, at 11:58 p.m. EDT (0358 GMT on Sept. 30). Watch it live in the window above, courtesy of ULA.
From ULA:
Rocket: Delta IV HeavyMission: NROL-44Launch Date: Sun., Sept. 27, 2020Launch Time: 12:10 a.m. EDTLaunch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Mission Information: A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket will launch the NROL-44 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Launch Notes: This will be 141st mission for United Launch Alliance and our 29th for the NRO. It is the 385th Delta launch since 1960, the 12th Delta IV Heavy and the 8th Heavy for the NRO.

Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at, and; hashtags #DeltaIVHeavy #NROL44

On Wednesday, Sept. 30: SpaceX GPS satellite launch

SpaceX is now targeting a Sept. 30 launch for its next GPS navigation satellite mission for the U.S. military. 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the GPS III SV04 satellite for the U.S. Space Force and Air Force at 9:55 p.m. EDT (0155 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
From SpaceX:
SpaceX is standing down from the launch attempt of its thirteenth Starlink mission due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple days. A new target launch date will be announced once confirmed.
This mission will lift off from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, launching 60 Starlink satellites to orbit. Falcon 9’s first stage previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s first flight to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts onboard and the ANASIS-II mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. One of Falcon 9’s fairing halves supported two previous Starlink launches.
The Starlink satellites will deploy approximately 1 hour and 1 minute after liftoff. If you would like to receive updates on Starlink news and service availability in your area, please visit

DELAYED: Blue Origin NS-13 Launch 
Update for 12:18 am ET: Blue Origin has scrubbed Thursday's launch attempt of  the NS-13 New Shepard launch due to a payload power supply issue. A new launch date will be announced once available.
A Blue Origin New Shepard spacecraft will launch on a suborbital flight today (Sept. 24) and you can watch it live here. Liftoff is set for 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) from Blue Origin's West Texas test site. 
This will be the 13th New Shepard flight for Blue Origin and the seventh flight for this specific space capsule and rocket. Blue Origin's New Shepard is a reusable space capsule and booster designed to carry passengers on trips to suborbital space and back. Its booster returns to Earth to make a vertical landing while the capsule descends under parachutes for a land landing. 
On this mission, called NG-13, New Shepard will carry 12 commercial payloads. Among them is the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration, a science payload mounted to the exterior of the booster to test technology for future NASA moon missions. "The lunar landing sensor demo will test precision landing technologies for future missions to the Moon in support of the Artemis program," Blue Origin wrote in an update. "The experiment will verify how these technologies (sensors, computers, and algorithms) work together to determine a spacecraft’s location and speed as it approaches the Moon, enabling a vehicle to land autonomously on the lunar surface within 100 meters of a designated point"

From Blue Origin:
Blue Origin’s next New Shepard mission (NS-13) is currently targeting liftoff for Thursday, September 24, at 10:00 am CDT / 15:00 UTC. Current weather conditions are favorable. This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reusability. 
New Shepard will fly 12 commercial payloads to space and back on this mission, including the Deorbit, Descent, and Landing Sensor Demonstration with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate under a Tipping Point partnership. This is the first payload to fly mounted on the exterior of a New Shepard booster rather than inside the capsule, opening the door to a wide range of future high-altitude sensing, sampling, and exposure payloads.  
The lunar landing sensor demo will test precision landing technologies for future missions to the Moon in support of the Artemis program. The experiment will verify how these technologies (sensors, computers, and algorithms) work together to determine a spacecraft’s location and speed as it approaches the Moon, enabling a vehicle to land autonomously on the lunar surface within 100 meters of a designated point. The technologies could allow future missions—both crewed and robotic—to target landing sites that weren’t possible during the Apollo missions, such as regions with varied terrain near craters. Achieving high accuracy landing will enable long-term lunar exploration and future Mars missions. 
This is the first of two flights to test these lunar landing technologies, increasing confidence for successful missions in the Artemis program. NS-13 is part of the risk reduction process to test these types of sensors for future missions. 
New Shepard booster undergoing integration and testing of the sensor experiment at Blue Origin’s West Texas Launch Site.
As a part of NASA’s Artemis Human Landing System program, Blue Origin is also leading the National Team, comprised of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper, to develop a Human Landing System to return Americans to the lunar surface. The technology for the Blue Origin Descent Element that takes astronauts to the lunar surface is derived from the autonomous landing capabilities developed for the New Shepard program.  
New Shepard has flown more than 100 payloads to space across 10 sequential flights. Payloads on board NS-13 include experiments from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Southwest Research Institute, NASA Flight Opportunities, Space Lab Technologies, University of Florida, Space Environment Technologies, and mu Space Corp. A selection of the manifested payloads can be found below. 
Also on board will be tens of thousands of postcards from Blue Origin’s nonprofit, Club for the Future, some of which will include a special NASA Artemis stamp.  
All mission crew supporting this launch are exercising strict social distancing and safety measures to mitigate COVID-19 risks to personnel, customers, and surrounding communities.  
You can watch the launch live at The pre-show begins at T-30 minutes and will provide mission details, including a special update from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
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