NASA is having crewmembers aboard the ISS change the docking location for the SpaceX Crew-2 Crew Dragon Endeavor spacecraft. The docking port swap will happen on Wednesday, July 21. Next week will mark a historic occasion when two different US commercial spacecraft built for crew will be docked to the orbiting ISS at the same time.
NASA will begin live coverage of the port relocation at 6:30 AM EDT on Wednesday, July 21, via NASA television, the NASA app, and the NASA website. Crew-2 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet will be aboard the Crew Dragon for the port relocation. The astronauts will board the capsule at 4:30 AM EDT in case something goes wrong, so their ride back to Earth doesn’t disappear in an emergency.
The Crew Dragon Endeavor will undock from the forward port of the ISS Harmony module at 6:45 AM. It will dock again with the ISS on the station’s space-facing port at 7:32 AM. NASA is moving capsules around because moving the Endeavor will free up the Harmony forward port for docking of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner.
Currently, Starliner is scheduled to launch on Friday, July 30, as part of the NASA Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 mission. The goal of that mission is to test the overall end-to-end capabilities of Starliner, including launch, docking, atmospheric reentry, and landing in the desert and the Western US.
NASA points out this is the second time a Crew Dragon spacecraft has been relocated. The SpaceX Crew-2 mission launched on April 23 and docked with the space station on April 24. Currently, Crew-2 is set to return to earth in early to mid-November.