SpaceX set to launch subsequent Worldwide Area Station crew for NASA By Reuters



© Reuters. A Falcon 9 rocket is readied earlier than launch on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission, which can take 4 crew members to the Worldwide Area Station, from the Kennedy Area Heart in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 26, 2023. REUTERS/Joe Skipper


By Joe Skipper and Steve Gorman

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) – Elon Musk’s rocket firm SpaceX was set to launch early on Monday the Worldwide Area Station’s subsequent long-duration staff into orbit, with an astronaut from the United Arab Emirates and a Russian cosmonaut becoming a member of two NASA crewmates for the flight.

The SpaceX launch automobile, consisting of a Falcon 9 rocket topped with an autonomously operated Crew Dragon capsule known as Endeavour, was set for liftoff at 1:45 a.m. EST (0645 GMT) from NASA’s Kennedy Area Heart in Cape Canaveral, Florida.      

    The four-member crew ought to attain the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) about 25 hours later, on Tuesday morning, to start a six-month mission in microgravity aboard the orbiting laboratory some 250 miles (420 km) above Earth. 

    Designated Crew 6, the mission marks the sixth long-term ISS staff that NASA has flown aboard SpaceX for the reason that non-public rocket enterprise based by Musk – billionaire CEO of electrical automobile maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) and social media platform Twitter – started sending American astronauts to orbit in Could 2020.

NASA mentioned the mission’s launch readiness evaluate was accomplished on Saturday, and that the flight was given a “go” to proceed to liftoff as deliberate.

“All programs and climate are wanting good for launch,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

    The newest ISS crew is led by mission commander Stephen Bowen, 59, a onetime U.S. Navy submarine officer who has logged greater than 40 days in orbit as a veteran of three house shuttle flights and 7 spacewalks.

Fellow NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg, 37, an engineer and business aviator designated because the Crew 6 pilot, will likely be making his first spaceflight.

The Crew 6 mission is also notable for its inclusion of UAE astronaut Sultan Alneyadi, 41, solely the second particular person from his nation to fly to house and the primary to launch from U.S. soil as a part of a long-duration house station staff. UAE’s first-ever astronaut launched to orbit in 2019 aboard a Russian spacecraft.

Rounding out the four-man Crew 6 is Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, 41, who like Alneyadi is an engineer and spaceflight rookie designated as a mission specialist for the staff.

Fedyaev is the most recent cosmonaut to fly aboard an American spacecraft below a ride-sharing deal signed in July by NASA and the Russian house company Roscosmos, regardless of heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Crew 6 staff will likely be welcomed aboard the house station by seven present ISS occupants – three U.S. NASA crew members, together with commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, the primary Native American girl to fly to house, together with three Russians and a Japanese astronaut.

The ISS, in regards to the size of a soccer discipline and the most important synthetic object in house, has been constantly operated by a U.S.-Russian-led consortium that features Canada, Japan and 11 European international locations.

The outpost was conceived partly as a enterprise to enhance relations between Washington and Moscow following the Soviet Union’s collapse and the top of Chilly Warfare rivalries that gave rise to the unique U.S.-Soviet house race within the Fifties and Sixties.

NASA-Roscosmos cooperation has been examined as by no means earlier than since Russia invaded Ukraine a yr in the past, main the US to impose sweeping sanctions in opposition to Moscow whereas steadily rising army support to the Ukrainian authorities.

The Crew 6 mission additionally follows two current mishaps during which Russian spacecraft docked to the orbiting laboratory sprang coolant leaks apparently prompted micrometeoroids, tiny grains of house rock, streaking via house and hanging the craft at excessive velocity.

One of many affected Russian automobiles was a Soyuz crew capsule that had carried two cosmonauts and an astronaut to the house station in September for a six-month mission now set to finish in March. An empty substitute Soyuz to convey them residence blasted off on Friday and arrived on the house station on Saturday.


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