The astronauts that will be launched aboard the first operational Crew Dragon mission have chosen to call their spacecraft Resilience.
During a press conference on Sept. 29, Crew-1 astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker of NASA, and Soichi Noguchi from JAXA revealed the name they had chosen for their Crew Dragon spacecraft.
The tradition of NASA astronauts naming their spacecraft can be traced back to the agency’s first crew space program, Project Mercury. All six Mercury spacecraft were given names by the astronauts who rode them into space with Alan Shepard kicking things off with Freedom 7.
SpaceX adopted the tradition from its first crewed launch with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken choosing to call their spacecraft Endeavour.
Crew-1 mission commander Mike Hopkins explained that the crew had selected the name Resilience to honour NASA and SpaceX personnel that have continued to work during the global pandemic.
“I think all of us can agree that 2020 has certainly been a challenging year: a global pandemic, economic hardships, civil unrest, isolation,” Hopkins said during the briefing. “Despite all of that, SpaceX, NASA has kept the production line open and finished this amazing vehicle that’s getting ready to go on its maiden flight to the International Space Station.”
The Crew Dragon Resilience is set to be launched atop a Falcon 9 from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on October 31, 2020. It will carry its crew of four to the International Space Station for their six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.