Space Crew-1 astronauts on Monday made the first-ever relocation of the first commercial crew port at the International Space Station (ISS), removing and redocking SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to make way for an incoming crew.

According to a report from Space.com, NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Siochi Naguchi performed the relocation, moving the Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft from the forward port of the ISS Harmony module to the module's space facing port. The crew undocked Resilience at 6:30 a.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. GMT) and reattached it on its new port at 7:08 a.m. EDT (11:08 a.m. GMT).

SpaceX Crew Dragon
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

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Crew Dragon Relocation is First for Commercial Spacecraft

This first-ever relocation of an autonomous commercial crew port was made to provide room for a Crew Dragon spacecraft called Endeavor, which will be arriving this month at the ISS and will use the Harmony forward port. Endeavor will bring the SpaceX Crew-2 mission astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur from NASA, Akihiro Hoshide from JAXA, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA). The Crew-2 mission is set to lift off from the Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 22.

 Hopkins was elated with their task, congratulating all members of the commercial crew program. "To think about where you started and where we are now - and now we're getting ready to actually take this vehicle out for a little spin. ... We're all very excited to be a part of it," Hopkins said in a report on Space.com.

Relocation of Russian Soyuz Spacecraft

Last March 19, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins assisted Russian cosmonauts in similarly relocating the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft on the ISS. Roscosmos Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and cosmonaut Sergey Kud-Sverchkov moved the Soyuz from the Earth-facing port in the ISS's Rassvet module, piloting the spacecraft to park at the space-facing Poisk module. This relocation took about an hour to complete.

In a guest appearance on NASA TV, Rubins said the task was "all of the fun and the work of undock day plus all of the fun and the work of docking day, so it's a lot of activity." She further said how it was "quite an amazing view to be able to separate from the vehicle that's been your home for months and see it from 60 meters."

By end of April or early May, the Crew Dragon resilience will undock and return to Earth, allowing a Space X cargo spacecraft to bring much-needed solar panels and supplies.

Boeing Plans Space Mission

As the relocation is the first-ever for the Crew Dragon space crew in the ISS, this certainly would not be the last. Parking space at the ISS will be in-demand property in the coming year, with Boeing planning a space mission with NASA, launching the CST-100 Starliner to the ISS for a test run next month, a move that will begin its program to send astronauts for NASA.

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Check out more news and information on the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission on Science Times.