Upcoming SpaceX Crew-2 Launch Set for April 22, 2021
NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 mission is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 22, 2021, sending the second crew rotation mission to the International Space Station. This will be the second crewed operational flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft and the third overall crewed orbital flight. Included in the crew are NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. All crew members are veteran astronauts, though this will be Megan McArthur's first visit to the ISS. The Crew-2 mission is preceded by SpaceX's Demo-2 launch in May 2020 as well as the Crew-1 launch in November 2020.
These missions are conducted through NASA's Commercial Crew Program, a partnership created to design and fly human space transportation systems to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Through the CCP, NASA collaborates with the American aerospace industry to create and launch systems capable of safely transporting astronauts to and from space. Since September of 2014, NASA has been partnering with SpaceX and Boeing to develop integrated spacecraft, rockets, and associated systems. The CCP differs from other NASA programs in that it allows NASA’s commercial partners to control how astronauts are sent to space, given that these companies adhere to the space agency's standards. The CCP allows NASA to purchase seats for astronauts on the spacecraft developed by the agency's partners. By welcoming industry participation, NASA is able to allocate more resources toward constructing spacecraft and rockets for deep space missions to the Moon and Mars.
The SpaceX Crew-2 mission is unique in that it will be the first CCP mission to include two international partner crew members. Both Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide are designated as mission specialists, while NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough will serve as spacecraft pilot and commander, respectively. The crew will launch aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket and will spend approximately six months at the International Space Station. Because the Falcon 9 rocket uses a booster identical to the one used for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, the Crew-2 mission will mark the first crewed launch to use a flight-proven booster. You can find other Space Patches within our website.
The Space Store is now selling the NASA SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Patch, a 4", fully embroidered mission patch from AB Emblem. The patches are currently in stock and ready to ship! Be sure to check out the New Releases section of the site for additional Crew-2 inspired items.