SpaceX moved the Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon Endurance to LC-39A ahead of its Crew-3 launch. The brand new Dragon spacecraft now sports NASA’s Worm logo just above its Super-Draco abort engines.
Crew-3’s Dragon capsule that will carry them to the International Space Station arrived at the launch complex earlier this week. It was installed on top of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket before rolling out to the pad and going vertical today. The flight-proven booster B1067 returns to LC-39A for a second flight, its first being CRS-22 back in June.
On top of the booster is a brand new second stage; these stages are always new because they cannot be recovered. Like all NASA crew missions, it sports the NASA Worm and Meatball logos on either side. Finally, on top is Crew Dragon C210, named Endurance by her maiden crew.
Endurance is a brand new Dragon. Increased demand for future crewed missions forced SpaceX to invest in two new crew capable spacecraft. It was almost identical to the previous two Crew Dragons that came before, but Endurance was the first to receive the infamous toilet fix.
It also now sports a slight design change. SpaceX replaced the Meatballs with more Worm logos. The beloved logo has seen a return to use by the agency during Jim Bridenstine’s time as administrator. The logo is featured on SpaceX’s B1058 booster, which flew DM-2 back in mid-2020, the second stage on all other SpaceX Commercial Crew Program missions since then, and the Space Launch System.
SpaceX’s Dragon Endurance on LC-39A ahead of the Crew-3 launch. Credit: SpaceX
Crew-3 launching as soon as Sunday morning
Currently, SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission is scheduled for Sunday, October 31, at 2:21 a.m. EDT. However, we should start seeing weather reports from Space Launch Delta 45 tomorrow or Friday to see how likely that date is to hold.
If the weather does look suitable for Sunday morning’s launch, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Matthias Maurer, and Kayla Barron will arrive at the ISS early Monday morning, 12:10 a.m. EDT. This launch will push the total number of people who have gone to space to over 600.
Stay tuned to Space Explored for more coverage as NASA and SpaceX get ready for the launch of Crew-3.