NASA Relocates SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Docked at ISS Ahead of Starliner Arrival


International Space Station astronauts will relocate the SpaceX Dragon crew spacecraft to a different docking port later this week to make way for Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft and the arrival of the flight crew test.

NASA astronauts Matt Dominick, Mike Barratt, and Jeanette Epps, as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Grebenkin, will undock from the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module at 9.45 p.m. May 1 (AEDT). The spacecraft will then autonomously dock with the module’s space-facing port at about 10.30 p.m. (AEDT).

The relocation, supported by flight controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will free up Harmony’s forward-facing port for the docking of the Boeing Starliner spacecraft for its first flight with astronauts in May. Starliner will autonomously dock to the forward-facing port of the Harmony module, delivering NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams to the space station.

The launch of the ULA (United Launch Alliance) Atlas V rocket and Boeing Starliner spacecraft is targeted for 12.30 p.m (AEDT) on May 7, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The flight test will carry Wilmore and Williams to the space station for about a week to test the Starliner spacecraft and its subsystems before NASA certifies the transportation system for rotational missions to the orbiting laboratory for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner will dock to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module at 2.00 p.m. (AEDT) on May 9. This will be the fourth port relocation of a Dragon spacecraft with crew, following previous relocations during the Crew-1, Crew-2, and Crew-6 missions.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-8 mission launched March 3, 2024, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and docked to the space station on March 5. Crew-8, targeted to return this fall, is the eighth rotational crew mission from NASA and SpaceX as a part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.


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