The Flight Readiness Review (FRR) conducted last week by NASA and SpaceX is not a milestone taken lightly, especially when launching a new human spacecraft.
It is a key milestone ahead of the Wednesday’s scheduled historic launch of the SpaceX Crew Demo 2 mission which will see the first two American astronauts launch from American soil on an American rocket in nearly nine years.
The FRR is the second to last review before a launch can proceed. Today, NASA and SpaceX will conduct a Launch Readiness Review which is the final review ahead launch.
The FRR is one last opportunity for NASA and SpaceX to talk through any issues or questions surrounding the launch vehicle and spacecraft. It’s an open and candid discussion where everyone is encouraged to speak up.
According to NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk during a press held last Friday there were no major issues.
“I knew going in that the team was ready, and they absolutely demonstrated that during the review. There are no significant open issues, I am happy to report. There’s just the planned forward work to get done.”
Watch the Flight Readiness Review press briefing
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was also very positive during the press briefing saying, “the Flight Readiness Review is complete; we have another milestone under our belts. I think everybody in the room was very clear that now is the time to speak up if there are any challenges. And there were some conversations that were very important to be had. But it’s also true that at the end, as each system and subsystem was considered, we got to a ‘go.’ So we are now preparing for a launch in five short days.”
NASA SpaceX Crew Demo 2 mission animation and astronaut narration
For veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, they’ve spent years preparing for this mission which included extensive training on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft.
In their last public media availability last Friday, the astronauts expressed their confidence in the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Questions they answered included the new SpaceX spacesuits, being in quarantine, their training etc.
Ironically, the pandemic has allowed them to spend more time with their families and children, and they, like most people, have been in quarantine since March. However, it’s only in the last few weeks where they’ve been in complete typical astronaut quarantine. After their dress rehearsal last Saturday they’ve had some time to relax at the private beach side crew quarters reserved for astronauts ahead of launch.