NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard the International Space Station will mark another first for commercial spaceflight Monday, April 5, when the four astronauts will relocate the Crew Dragon spacecraft to prepare for the arrival of new crew members in late April and the upcoming delivery of new solar arrays this summer.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, will undock Crew Dragon Resilience from the forward port of the station’s Harmony module at 6:29 a.m. and dock to the space-facing port at 7:15 a.m.
The relocation will free Harmony’s forward port for the docking of Crew Dragon Endeavour, set to carry four crew members to the station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to launch to the station Thursday, April 22, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Crew-1 astronauts will depart the station and return to Earth in late April or early May, leaving the space-facing port of Harmony vacant. A Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying several tons of supplies and the first set of new solar arrays for the space station is scheduled to launch this summer, and requires the space-facing port position to enable robotic extraction of the arrays from Dragon’s trunk using Canadarm2.
This will be the first port relocation of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission lifted off Nov. 15, 2020, and docked to the space station Nov. 16. The mission is the first of six certified crew missions NASA and SpaceX planned as a part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.