It’s a busy time on the International Space Station as not only does a new Russian module arrive this week, but also preparations for the Boeing Starliner’s orbital test flight at the end of this month. To prepare for the arrival of the unmanned mission, the astronauts aboard the station must move the SpaceX Crew Dragon, which is currently docked.
If you’d like to watch the astronauts shuffle around the SpaceX spaceship, we have the details on how to watch the event live online.
Why the Crew Dragon is moving
The SpaceX crew Dragon Endeavor is pictured approaching the International Space Station on April 24, less than a day after takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA
The Crew Dragon must be moved to the space-facing side of the station to make room for the new Boeing Starliner to dock at the station’s front port. The Starliner will conduct an unmanned test mission called Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) in preparation for its use as a crew capsule that will transport astronauts between Earth and the ISS.
The OFT-2 mission is slated to launch on July 30th after a series of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. This will be his second orbital flight test after the first test failed to reach the ISS in December 2019 and subsequent investigations revealed a number of potentially serious problems.
The OFT-2 will be launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and if all goes well, the first manned test flight is planned for later this year, the Boeing Crew Flight Test.
This is how you see the move
The move of the Crew Dragon will be broadcast live on NASA television. You can watch this channel online by either using the video link embedded at the top of this page or by going to NASA’s website.
Coverage of the move begins on July 21 at 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 p.m. PT).
Four astronauts will board the Crew Dragon at 4:30 a.m. ET (1:30 a.m. PT) in the early morning. They will be NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, as well as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. You will undock the Crew Dragon from the space station’s Harmony module at 6:45 a.m. ET (3:45 a.m. PT).
The astronauts will then take the Crew Dragon to the station’s spaceport and re-dock, which is scheduled for 7:32 a.m. ET (4:32 a.m. PT).