It’s a busy time at the International Space Station, with not only a new Russian module arriving this week, but also preparations beginning for the orbital test flight of the Boeing Starliner at the end of this month. To prepare for the uncrewed mission’s arrival, the astronauts onboard the station need to relocate the SpaceX Crew Dragon, which is currently docked.
If you want to watch along as the astronauts shuffle around the SpaceX craft, we’ve got the details on how to watch the event live online.
Why the Crew Dragon is relocating
The Crew Dragon needs to be moved around to the space-facing side of the station to make room for the new Boeing Starliner to dock with the station’s forward port. The Starliner will be performing an uncrewed test mission called Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) in preparation for its use as a crew capsule, ferrying astronauts between Earth and the ISS.
The OFT-2 mission is scheduled for launch on July 30, after a series of delays due to both the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. This will be its second orbital flight test, after the first test in December 2019 failed to reach the ISS and subsequent investigations revealed a number of potentially serious issues.
The OFT-2 will be launched on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and if all goes well, then the first crewed test flight is scheduled for later this year, called the Boeing Crew Flight Test.
How to watch the relocation
The relocation of the Crew Dragon will be shown live on NASA TV. You can watch this channel online either by using the video link embedded at the top of this page or by heading to NASA’s website.
Coverage of the relocation begins at 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 a.m. PT) on July 21.
Four astronauts will board the Crew Dragon early that morning at 4:30 a.m. ET (1:30 a.m. PT). They will be NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, plus JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet. They will undock the Crew Dragon from the space station’s Harmony module at 6:45 a.m. ET (3:45 a.m. PT).
The astronauts will then move the Crew Dragon over to the station’s space-facing port and re-dock, which is scheduled for 7:32 a.m. ET (4:32 a.m. PT).