SpaceX launches second commercial crew mission to the ISS

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Commercial human spaceflight, International Space Station, Launches, NASA, Seradata News, SpaceX

On 23 April SpaceX successfully launched the “Crew 2” mission on a Falcon 9 vehicle into low Earth orbit from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA. Lift-off occurred at 0949 GMT.  On board the Crew Dragon Endeavour were four crew: NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, NASA Astronaut Megan McArthur, ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet and JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. These astronauts are scheduled for an approximate six month mission on the ISS before returning to Earth. This launch saw the reuse of the Dragon C206 (Endeavour) crew capsule. The first stage of the launch vehicle, B1061, being flown on its own second flight, successfully landed back on the drone barge “Of Course I Still Love You” at 0957 GMT.

The Falcon 9 lifting-off from LC-39A carrying the Dragon Crew 2 mission to the ISS. Courtesy of NASA via YouTube

Update on 27 April 2021:  Less than 24 hours after launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft on its NASA Crew 2 mission autonomously docked with the Harmony module on the International Space Station at 0907 GMT on 24 April at 0907 GMT. This event resulted in the first time that two Crew Dragons have been docked with the ISS at the same time. The previously launched Crew Dragon Resilience (on the Crew 1 mission) is already docked with the ISS.

Crew 2’s transit to the ISS was not entirely without drama during their flight as the crew were at one point ordered to don of their pressure suits in response to a possible space junk collision risk. The debris ultimately passed by the Crew Dragon capsule without incident.

SpaceX is planning to return Crew Dragon Resilience to Earth with the four Crew-1 astronauts: Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi on 1 May. Akihiko Hoshide will assume command of the ISS once Crew-1 departs.

Phil Hylands contributed to this article. 

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 2 undocks from the ISS and returns to Earth…then Crew Dragon – NASA Crew 3 is launched by Falcon 9 on way to space station

On 8 November 2021 at 1905 GMT, Crew Dragon - NASA Crew 2 Endeavour autonomously undocked from the IDA-3 /PMA-3 Read more

Bezos and Blue Origin bow out of legal battle to get lunar lander contract after court goes against them

“Not the decision we wanted, but we respect the court’s judgment, and wish full success for NASA and SpaceX on Read more

UK Ministry of Defence forgets its past loyalties and chooses SpaceX over Arianespace to launch its Skynet 6A comsat

The UK Ministry of Defence has surprised the pan-European launch provider Arianespace by selecting a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch for Read more

Blue Origin sues NASA after losing contract for Human Landing System (Updated)

Blue Origin’s disagreement with NASA over its failure to win a contract for the Human Landing System (HLS) finally reached Read more

SpaceX secures “go-to-launch provider” status from Planet and another lunar lander mission

Planet, the operator of an LEO CubeSat constellation numbering over 200 units, has designated SpaceX as its “go-to-launch provider” until Read more

SpaceX proposes to buy CubeSat constellation builder Swarm Technologies

It appears that on 16 July SpaceX approached Swarm Technologies with a purchase offer that would see it become a Read more

US$178 million Europa Clipper launch is formally awarded to SpaceX Falcon Heavy saving NASA US$2 billion

While NASA's US$4.25 billion Europa Clipper unmanned exploration flyby mission to Jupiter's moon Europa was always mooted as going on Read more

Lynk Global signs up for future Falcon 9 launch through Spaceflight Inc

Newspace company Lynk Global has contracted with launch arranger Spaceflight Inc to manifest multiple satellites on an upcoming SpaceX rideshare Read more