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LIFTOFF! Regular Missions to the Space Station Have Begun

15 Nov 2020, 5:30 pm

After a successful trial run earlier this year, a new era begins!  On November 15, 2020, at 7:27 PM EST, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission soared into the sky!  This is the first crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station, part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

“This is another milestone,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s Administrator.  “A critical milestone in the development of our ability to launch American astronauts, on American rockets from American soil, now sustainably. So these are very exciting times.”

November 2, 2020, was the 20 year anniversary since humans began visiting the Space Station, and NASA did a special podcast to celebrate the milestones and ground-breaking research that has been taking place over the last two decades.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured docked to the International Space Station on July 1, 2020. Courtesy: NASAAt Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, four astonauts will suit up and soar into space on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft named Resilience.

The SpaceX Crew-1 official crew portrait with (from left) NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Courtesy: NASA


“2020 has certainly been a challenging year,” said Astronaut Mike Hopkins, commander of the Crew Dragon and the Crew-1 mission.  “The name Resilience is really in honor of the SpaceX and the NASA teams and quite frankly it’s in honor of our families, of our colleagues, of our fellow citizens of our international partners and our leaders that have all shown that same quality, that same characteristics through these difficult times.”

The crew said it’s an opportunity unlike anything they’ve been a part of before.

“To be able to live on the Space Station for 6 months and during that time to be there for the 20th anniversary of human presence on that station, and to potentially launch on the 20th anniversary of the launch of Expedition 1, it’s just special,” said Astronaut Victor Glover, who will be on his first spaceflight as pilot of the Crew Dragon.

Shannon Walker, who has been a NASA Astronaut since 2004, will be heading back to the Space Station as mission specialist for Crew-1.  “Since I’ve spent six months on the Space Station before, I am really looking forward to going back there and doing the science and the research that needs to be done.”

According to NASA, the Crew-1 astronauts will spend their time aboard the International Space Station conducting new and exciting scientific research in areas, such as botany, cancer research, and technology including a Space Toilet.

“We get to maximize the utility of microgravity for research and ultimately we are focusing our research for a day when that research becomes applied,” Bridenstine said.

This team will pave the way for future missions with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program with investigations to benefit us here on Earth and to provide a foundation for further exploration of the Moon and Mars in years to come.


“We hope that it provides something positive to your lives,” Hopkins said.  “And frankly we hope that it’s an inspiration that shows when you work together there is no limit to what you can achieve.”


About the author
Meredith is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist as designated by the American Meteorological Society.  She was born and raised in Cleveland but has worked from coast to coast covering almost every type of weather.  Meredith is a weather, space, and STEM journalist and has been live out in the field during destructive tropical storms on the Gulf Coast of Florida, raging wildfires in Southern Cali... Load Morefornia, and covered the wreckage from tornadoes in the Great Plains. In 2009, she reported on the damaging hail storm during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and in 2017, the historic California winter storms that produced record rain totals and devastating flash flooding.  Prior to joining WeatherNation, Meredith worked at KEYT/KKFX in Santa Barbara, CA, KOTA-TV in Rapid City, SD, WWSB-TV in Sarasota, FL, and began her career as an intern at WGN-TV in Chicago.  She was Santa Barbara's "Favorite Weathercaster of the Year" in 2016 and the Community Partner of the Year in 2017 for her volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties and awarded with the 2018 Valparaiso University Alumni Association First Decade Achievement Award. Meredith is the current chair of the American Meteorological Society's Station Scientist Committee, which focuses on raising greater awareness & outreach when it comes to science education for viewers.  She's also an accomplished journalist, producing weather and science stories including rocket launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base and the new GOES-16 satellite and it's impacts on weather forecasting.  Meredith was personally invited by NASA's Johnson Space Center to interview astronauts on the International Space Station and was the only meteorologist in the nation to do an exclusive report accompanying the GOES-West satellite from Colorado to Florida, reporting on and covering it's launch in 2018.  Meredith's also worked on features that took her paragliding along the coast, white water rafting in Northern California, learning to surf in the Pacific Ocean, and how to be an aerial photographer while flying a single engine plane! Say hi on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn!