US space agency NASA shared footage of port relocation at the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday. The video shows SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience’s port being relocated as the space station prepares to welcome new crew later this month. SpaceX Crew-1 is the first certified mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that lifted off from Earth on November 15, 2020. On Monday, four astronauts relocated the Crew Dragon spacecraft to prepare for the arrival of new crew members and the upcoming delivery of solar arrays this summer.
The footage shows NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, undocking the Crew Dragon Resilience from the forward port of the ISS Harmony module and docking to the space-facing port.
According to NASA, the second commercial crew program includes NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA’s Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. The launch is scheduled to take place from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 22.
Why is today’s port relocation of the Crew Dragon Resilience happening? It will prepare the @Space_Station for the planned arrival of NASA’s @SpaceX Crew-2 mission in just a few weeks, as well as arrival later this summer of a cargo Dragon delivering new solar arrays: pic.twitter.com/R6wjXqBp3x
— NASA (@NASA) April 5, 2021
After the new crew joins the mission, the Crew-1 astronauts will leave the station and return to Earth in late April or early May. The footage shared on Monday mentions that the vacant portion will serve as a docking space for a Dragon cargo spacecraft which will carry several tons of supplies.
The cargo spacecraft requires the space-facing port position to enable robotic extraction of the solar arrays from Dragon’s trunk using Canadarm2.
It is going to be a busy few weeks in the ISS and Twitter seems to agree.
Lol, sounds like my driveway on a Monday morning.
— Michael Curtin (@guitarmike) April 5, 2021
Going up on April 22. Follow NASA and SpaceX. A Soyuz is also going up on April 9.
This month 2 spacecrafts going up and 2 coming down.
— Pablo Moysam D. (@PMoysam) April 5, 2021
An Elon Musk fan was quick to credit the tech billionaire for this latest NASA update.
It’s happening cause Elon Musk said so. ????
— IG: @space.terminal (@spaceTerminal_) April 5, 2021