Crew-2: NASA and SpaceX targeting 4/20 for next astronaut launch to space station

SpaceX will conduct its third mission to send astronauts to space on April 20 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft will send two NASA astronauts, one JAXA astronaut, and one ESA astronaut to the International Space Station. The mission called Crew-2 will be the first SpaceX flight for a European Space Agency astronaut and the second for a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut.

Rocket reusability

SpaceX’s Crew-2 mission for NASA will also be very special for another reason. The first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket used for Crew-2 will be the same booster that SpaceX used to send Crew-1 astronauts to the space station. SpaceX regularly launches, lands, and re-uses its rocket boosters, but reusing rocket boosters to fly people will be a whole new milestone.

It’s not just the rocket first stage that will be familiar for Crew-2. The Crew Dragon spacecraft that SpaceX used on its Demo-2 mission to fly NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the ISS will make a return on this mission. This will mark the first time SpaceX has reused a Crew Dragon spacecraft to fly people.


NASA announced the astronauts who will fly on Crew-2 last summer to allow plenty of time for training:

  • Shane Kimbrough (NASA) Commander
  • Megan McArthur (NASA) Pilot
  • Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA) Mission Specialist
  • Thomas Pesquet (ESA) Mission Specialist

Learn more about the astronauts of Crew-2 here.

Mark your calendars

We recently saw two SpaceX vehicles parked at the International Space Station for the first time with a Crew Dragon spacecraft and Dragon 2 cargo spacecraft docked at the same time. When Crew-2 arrives at the ISS, we will see two Crew Dragon spacecrafts parked together in space in another milestone.

Return of Crew-1 with NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, is currently scheduled for late April or early May. Crew-2 astronauts are set to return in fall 2021.

NASA and SpaceX also continue preparations for the launch of the agency’s Crew-3 mission, which currently is targeted for fall of this year.


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