SpaceX‘s Crew-3 mission for NASA’s Commerical Crew Program is scheduled for Halloween (October 31) at 2:21 a.m. EDT. Tuesday, they arrived at the Shuttle Landing Facility ahead of this weekend’s launch.
NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Kayla Barron arrived alongside ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. Maurer who will become the 600th person to reach space who seemed optimistic that that number will begin to “rise exponentially” in the coming years.
Now that the crew is in Florida, they begin the crazy week that is launch week. Crew-3 commander Raja Chari stated that they have been “training to be astronauts” for years, but they finally get to “play astronauts this week.” This is because all but one of Crew-3’s crew members are first-time space-farers. The one that has flown is Thomas Mashburn, who has ridden on the Space Shuttle, Russian Soyuz, and now SpaceX’s Dragon.
Crew confident in SpaceX Dragon’s toliet fix
During Monday nights Flight Readiness Review briefing SpaceX’s Vice President of Mission Assurance, Bill Gerstenmaier, explained an issue found with Dragon’s toilet during the Inspiratoin4 mission. A hose that funneled urine from the toilet to a holding tank came undone during flight. This led to the crew’s urine to collect under the main floor of the capsule.
This hose issue has since been seen on the Crew-2 spacecraft currently docked to the International Space Station. There was a scare that chemicals used to treat the urine could cause corrosion, but after extensive testing by SpaceX, they have determined this not to be a concern for Crew-2’s return home next month.
SpaceX has welded the hose in place to fix the issue on the brand new Crew Dragon Endurance, not allowing it to come free during launch.
SpaceX Crew-3 to launch this Halloween
Another year, another crew preparing to launch on Halloween seems to be a tradition. The launch is set for the early morning on October 31, but it sounds like there are some issues to work out. While the Flight Readiness Review went well, it was mentioned during the arrival press conference there are some issues that are being worked on leading up to the launch. It was overheard amongst reporters that the ascent window will be “rough.” This could mean, like Crew-1, the launch will be pushed back off of Halloween. The crew did mention there are some costumes for them somewhere but kept the media in suspense for what they will be.