Four astronauts took a Dragon for a spin on Monday morning

Early on Monday morning, four astronauts donned their flight suits and clambered into their Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience.

But they have been not coming household. Alternatively, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, as properly as Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, have been getting ready to shift the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the initial time.

About the class of 38 minutes, the spacecraft efficiently backed absent from the Intercontinental Room Station’s Harmony module to a distance of 60 meters from the substantial laboratory. Less than the energy of its Draco thrusters, Resilience then reoriented alone to dock with an additional port on the Harmony module.

Throughout this autonomous maneuver, Resilience moved from the module’s “ahead” port to its “zenith” port. The cause for this shuffle was the expected arrival of a further Crew Dragon mission in a handful of weeks—carrying 4 far more astronauts—at the place station, as well as a cargo Dragon mission in June.

This cargo mission, the 22nd just one flown by SpaceX, will be carrying substantial solar panels for the area station inside of its trunk. This Cargo Dragon ought to dock to the zenith port to help the space station’s huge robotic arm to seize the panels for installation of the area station. This arm could not achieve the spacecraft’s “trunk” have been it docked to the forward port.

So on Monday, Resilience moved to this zenith port. This will make it possible for the next Crew mission, slated to launch no before than April 22, to dock at the ahead port. Then, just after Resilience departs in late April, the CRS-22 cargo mission will be no cost to dock at the zenith port.

Enlarge / The Crew-1 astronauts, Shannon Walker, Vic Glover, Mike Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi, don their spacesuits on Monday.

NASA

This may well all be a tiny complicated, we acknowledge, but the bottom line is that SpaceX Dragons are developing anything of a website traffic jam in orbit. NASA, of study course, is incredibly pleased to have US spacecraft to provide the station with the two cargo and crew.

So why have been 4 crew associates required aboard the car or truck if the overall method was autonomous? For the Crew-1 mission carrying Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi, Resilience is their ride house. So even even though they in no way touched the flight controls, the crew essential to be within the spacecraft in scenario an emergency—however unlikely—occurred and they desired to split off the maneuver and return to Earth. Fortunately, that failed to come about.

Listing image by NASA Television

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