science

Four astronauts took a dragon on a tour on Monday morning

Four astronauts took a dragon on a tour on Monday morning

Early Monday morning, four astronauts donned their flight suits and climbed aboard their Crew Dragon spacecraft, named adaptation.

But they never came home. Instead, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, as well as Japanese astronaut Soishi Noguchi, were preparing to move the Crew Dragon spacecraft for the first time.

Over the course of 38 minutes, The spacecraft traveled smoothly from the International Space Station’s Harmony Unit to a distance of 60 meters from the large laboratory. Under the force of Draco’s thrusters, adaptation Then it redirects itself to dock to another port on the Harmony unit.

During this independent maneuver, adaptation It moved from the “front” port of the module to its “top” port. The reason for this confusion was the expected arrival of another Crew Dragon mission in a few weeks – carrying four more astronauts – on the space station, as well as the Dragon cargo mission in June.

This cargo mission, SpaceX’s 22nd flight, will carry large solar panels for the space station inside its box. The Cargo Dragon must be docked at a zenith port to enable the space station’s large robotic arm to grab the panels to mount the space station. This arm cannot reach the “trunk” of the spacecraft if it docked at the forward port.

Until Monday, adaptation Go to this peak port. This will allow the next crew mission, scheduled to launch no later than April 22, to dock at the forward port. Then adaptation Departing in late April, the CRS-22 cargo mission will be free at berthing at the port of Peak.

Zoom in / Astronauts Crew-1, Shannon Walker, Vic Glover, Mike Hopkins, and Soichi Noguchi wear their spacesuits on Monday.

NASA

This all might be a little confusing, we admit, but the bottom line is SpaceX Dragons is creating a bit of a traffic jam in orbit. NASA, of course, is very happy that an American spacecraft has the cargo and crew to the station.

So why was there a need for four crew members on board the vehicle if the entire procedure were autonomous? For the Crew-1 mission carrying Hopkins, Glover, Walker, and Noguchi, adaptation He is on their way home. So, even though they never touched the flight controls, the crew had to be inside the spacecraft in the event of an emergency – however improbable – and needed to cut off the maneuver and return to Earth. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

List image by NASA TV

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