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NASA sets Oct. 23 as target launch date for first operational Crew Dragon mission – Spaceflight Now

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members are seen seated in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, mission specialist; Victor Glover, pilot; and Mike Hopkins, Crew Dragon commander; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. Credit: SpaceX

The first operational flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with four astronauts aboard is set to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than Oct. 23, following a formal certification review to assess data from the Crew Dragon’s two-man test flight that concluded earlier this month, NASA said Friday.

The four-person crew on the next Crew Dragon mission was set to blast off in late September, but NASA announced Friday that the launch would be pushed back to Oct. 23 to better fit within the International Space Station’s busy schedule of crew and cargo deliveries.

Spacecraft commander Mike Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will ride the Crew Dragon spacecraft into orbit on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

Assuming a launch on Oct. 23, the four-person crew will lift off around 5:47 a.m. EDT (0947 GMT) for a predawn climb into orbit. The launch time could be adjusted slightly as the International Space Station’s orbit changes due to aerodynamic drag and possible reboost maneuvers.

A launch Oct. 23 would put Hopkins and his crewmates on course to dock with the space station Oct. 24, kicking off a six-month expedition on the orbiting research complex.

The Crew Dragon mission set for launch in October will be SpaceX’s first regular crew rotation flight to the space station. Designated Crew-1, the mission follows the first Crew Dragon flight to the station on a demonstration mission with astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken.

Hurley and Behnken launched on SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission May 30 from the Kennedy Space Center and docked at the space station the next day. The launch marked the first time astronauts flew into orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

The Demo-2 test flight concluded Aug. 2 with Hurley and Behnken’s splashdown Aug. 2 in the Gulf of Mexico. Although NASA and SpaceX say the Crew Dragon spacecraft performed well on the 64-day test flight, officials plan a review in late August or early September to assess data from the Demo-2 mission and formally certify the Crew Dragon for regular crew rotation missions lasting up to seven months.

SpaceX is under contract with NASA for at least six “post-certification” crew rotation missions to the space station through 2024. Through a series of funding agreements since 2011, NASA has committed more than $3.1 billion to SpaceX for development, testing and operational flights of the commercial Crew Dragon spacecraft.

“NASA certification of SpaceX’s crew transportation system allows the agency to regularly fly astronauts to the space station, ending sole reliance on Russia for space station access,” NASA said Friday.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft for the Crew-1 mission at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California. Credit: SpaceX

In a statement released Friday, NASA said the Crew-1 mission’s launch was rescheduled from late September to no earlier than Oct. 23 in order “to accommodate spacecraft traffic for the upcoming Soyuz crew rotation and best meet the needs of the International Space Station.”

The Crew Dragon’s launch Oct. 23 and docking Oct. 24 will follow a Russian Soyuz crew rotation in mid-October.

Russian engineers are readying the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft for launch Oct. 14 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian commander Sergey Ryzhikov, cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.

The Soyuz MS-17 crew will dock with the space station a few hours after launch, joining station commander Chris Cassidy and Russian flight engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner for a week-long crew handover.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner are due to depart the space station Oct. 21 and head for landing in Kazakhstan, leaving the three-person Soyuz MS-17 crew on the orbiting lab to await the arrival of the Crew-1 astronauts Oct. 24, which will raise the station crew size to seven.

Two U.S. resupply missions are also scheduled for launch to the space station before the end of the year.

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus commercial supply ship is set for liftoff Sept. 29 from Wallops Island, Virginia, on top of an Antares rocket. The Cygnus cargo freighter will arrive at the station Oct. 3 with several tons of experiments, crew provisions and other hardware.

A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship could launch from Cape Canaveral as soon as November. That mission will be SpaceX’s 21st cargo launch to the space station, but the first to employ a new supply vehicle design based on an unpiloted version of the Crew Dragon spacecraft.

The timing of the Crew-1 mission’s launch in October will set up the landing of Hopkins’ crew in late April, about one month after the scheduled launch and docking of the next Crew Dragon flight — known as Crew-2 — next spring. NASA wants at least several weeks of overlap between the Crew-1 and Crew-2 astronauts on the space station.

During that period, Russia plans to launch a fresh Soyuz crew mission to the space station to replace Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins. With eight Crew Dragon astronauts and six Soyuz crew members coming and going at the station next April, the research outpost could briefly host 14 astronauts and cosmonauts, breaking the record for the most people in space at one time.

Boeing is also gearing up for a second unpiloted test flight of its Starliner crew capsule late this year, but officials have not announced a target launch date for the mission. The Starliner will dock with the space station in a repeat of an unpiloted demonstration flight in December 2019 that failed to reach the orbiting research lab.

If that flight goes well, Boeing could launch astronauts to the space station on its commercial Starliner spacecraft for the first time in 2021. Like SpaceX, Boeing is under contract with NASA for at least six operational Starliner crew rotation flights to the station.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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reportedly Target

Target is reportedly already selling the Galaxy Watch 3, which was also spotted at a Best Buy – PhoneArena

Samsung has kind of confirmed a

new wearable, presumably the 

Galaxy Watch 3, will be unveiled on August 5 during the

Unpacked event. If you need further proof of the smartwatch’s existence, Best Buy and Target are apparently already eager to sell it.

The Galaxy Watch 3 will likely go on sale before the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Z Fold 2

Android Authority reports that someone has seen Galaxy Watch 3 retail boxes at a Best Buy location. Of course, that person tried to add the watch to their shopping cart, but Best Buy refused to sell it to them and moved the retail boxes off the sales floor. 

Separately, XDA Developers’

Max Weinbach claims that if you use a secret code word, Target would sell you the 41mm Galaxy Watch 3 in the color Mystic Bronze. While we don’t know if this trick works, what’s apparent is that Samsung’s next watch will go on sale soon after launch, probably on Thursday.

They told me the street date of everything else would be Thursday. My guess is you’ll be able to buy the Galaxy Watch3 and get it in store on Thursday. https://t.co/0wqT9Tt7DX

— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) August 3, 2020

The Galaxy Watch 3 will

inherit the good elements of the 2018 Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active 2. It will probably be available in two sizes. The 41mm model is expected to feature a 1.2-inch Super AMOLED display and a 247mAh battery. The 45mm version will likely sport a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED screen and a 340mAh cell. The famous rotating bezel will probably make a comeback.

It will apparently boast an IP68 rating and for extra protection, the Corning Gorilla Glass DX will be added. The watch will supposedly be underpinned by the old Exynos 9110 chip which will be paired with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. 

Wireless charging will seemingly be supported and the wearable will be available in both Bluetooth-only and LTE variants.

Health-centric features presumably include ECG and blood pressure sensing, activity tracking, and a pulse oximeter.

Price will reportedly start at $349 for the smaller model and $399 for the 45 mm version.

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Several Target

Several Target stores temporarily closing in the Bay Area amid protests – KGO-TV

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Several Target stores in the Bay Area that were scheduled to be closed on Sunday amid possible protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis will apparently remain open.

A manager at a Target store in the Bay Area said the Oakland Target will be closed, but advised customers to contact their local Target to see if they are open.

In a statement online, Target says it’s heartbroken by the death of George Floyd and the pain it is causing communities across the country. Target originally reported that stores would be closing in light of the protest, but the store manager said most stores in the Bay Area are expected to be open today.

RELATED: Fireworks, looting continue in 2nd night of George Floyd protest in East Bay

Target says employees impacted by store closures will be paid for up to 14 days of scheduled hours during store closures, including COVID-19 premium pay. They will also be able to work at other nearby Target locations.

Here is a list on Bay Area stores had been scheduled to temporarily close, shoppers are advised to contact the individual store to see if they are open:


  • Alameda, CA

  • Bayfair San Leandro, CA

  • Central Berkley, CA

  • Central San Francisco, CA

  • College Park San Jose, CA

  • Colma, CA

  • East Palo Alto, CA

  • Fashion Island San Mateo, CA

  • Mountain View, CA

  • North Hayward, CA

  • Oakland, CA*

  • Oakland Emeryville, CA

  • Pinole, CA

  • Redwood City, CA

  • Richmond, CA

  • Serramonte Daly City, CA

  • SF Folsom and 13th St San Francisco, CA

  • South San Francisco, CA

  • Tanforan San Bruno, CA

  • University Ave Berkeley, CA

  • Walnut Creek, CA

  • Westlake Daly City, CA

There is an asterisk next to the Oakland Target because it was severely damaged during protests and is closed until further notice.

Take a look at the latest stories and videos about the investigation into George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

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