Newest SpaceX Crew of four, which Includes a Cosmonaut, is Greeted on Board the Space Station

Newest SpaceX Crew of four, which Includes a Cosmonaut, is Greeted on Board the Space Station

A four-member SpaceX Crew Dragon team, including a Russian cosmonaut and the first Native American woman, has been sent into orbit.

SpaceX’s four-member Crew Dragon team, including a Russian cosmonaut and the first Native American woman, sent into orbit, safely docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday and moved aboard to begin a mission. five-month scientific.

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The time has come for NASA’s final expedition to the lab, which orbits just after 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) after a 29-hour flight to the International Space Station as the two vehicles circled the globe some 250 miles (420 km) above Earth off the west coast of Africa, according to an online broadcast. NASA docking station.

An autonomous flight Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Endurance, was launched into orbit Wednesday atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The crew consists of two American NASA astronauts: flight commander Nicole Onabu Mann, 45, and pilot Josh Kasada, 49, as well as Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, a veteran of four previous space flights. , and astronaut Anna Kekina, 38, first. A Russian has been on an American spaceship for 20 years.

The inclusion of Kikina, the only active-duty astronaut for the Russian space agency Roscosmos, was a sign of continued US-Russian cooperation in space despite growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over the war in Ukraine.

Kikina joined the SpaceX Crew-5 flight under a new rideshare agreement signed in July between NASA and Roscosmos, allowing the two countries to continue flying each other’s spacecraft to and from the International Space Station.

The team was led by Mann, the first indigenous woman sent by NASA into space and the first woman to occupy the captain’s seat on the SpaceX Crew Dragon. Mann, a US Navy colonel, and fighter pilot is also among the first group of 18 astronauts selected for NASA’s upcoming Artemis missions aimed at returning humans to the Moon later this decade.

Moments after the engagement was completed, Mann said, “We look forward to working.”

Upon arrival, the resistance team spent almost two hours going through a series of standard procedures, such as checking for leaks and pressing the chamber between the capsule and the ISS, before opening the entry doors.

Live video from NASA showed the smiling new arrivals floating one by one through a lined walkway toward the station.

They were greeted with hugs and handshakes by the four-member team that would replace them: three Americans and Italian station commander Samantha Cristoforetti, as well as two Russians and a fourth NASA astronaut who participated in last month’s Soyuz. . trip to the International Space Station.

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“Many people are working hard to make sure that joint manned space exploration continues to exist and develops further. We are living proof of that,” Kekina said in comments in Russian that were translated into English through an interpreter to monitor on brief. . Welcome party.

The Endurance Crew represents the fifth full ISS crew NASA has flown aboard a SpaceX capsule since Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s special rocket project began sending American astronauts into space in May 2020.

SpaceX has flown eight manned missions to orbit, including non-NASA flights.

The newcomers will perform more than 200 experiments during their 150-day mission, many of which have focused on medical research ranging from 3D “bioprinting” human tissue to studying bacteria grown in microgravity.

The International Space Station, which stretches across a football field, has been continuously occupied since 2000 and is operated by a US-Russian-led partnership that includes Canada, Japan, and 11 European countries.

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