SpaceX heads off for international space station with US, Russian, Japanese astronauts
Florida —- Billionaire tycoon Elon Musk-led Space X blasted off from Florida on Wednesday and headed for the International Space Station (ISS).
The mission included a Russian cosmonaut and a Japanese and two American astronauts.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina onboard on October 5 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to the press statement released by NASA.
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 is the fifth mission of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
The crew members assigned to NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5 mission are in orbit now
The international crew will serve as the agency’s fifth commercial crew rotation mission with SpaceX aboard the orbital laboratory.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Dragon Endurance spacecraft into orbit carrying NASA astronauts Nicole Mann as mission commander, and Josh Cassada, pilot. JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina, also aboard the Dragon, will serve as mission specialists for their science expedition in microgravity aboard the space station, according to a statement.
“Missions like Crew-5 are proof we are living through a golden era of commercial space exploration. It’s a new era powered by the spirit of partnership, fueled by scientific ingenuity, and inspired by the quest for new discoveries,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
During their stay aboard the ISS, Crew-5 will conduct more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations, including studies on printing human organs in space and better understanding heart disease, he said. “While our eyes are focused upward on the heavens, let us never forget these missions will also better life here on Earth,” he added.
Such a mission is the first spaceflight for Mann, Cassada, and Kikina. While for Wakata, this is the fifth spaceflight. This is the sixth SpaceX flight with NASA astronauts – including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020 to the space station – as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
“Dragon will dock autonomously to the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module around 4:57 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6. NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of docking and hatch opening. NASA also will cover the ceremony to welcome the crew aboard the orbital outpost at about 8:15 pm,” the statement reads.
Crew-5 will spend several months in conducting new scientific research in areas such as cardiovascular health, bioprinting, and fluid behaviour in microgravity to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.
“The International Space Station continues to serve a critical role in helping NASA and our partners understand and maximize the unique attributes of the microgravity environment,” said Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate in Washington.
“I am grateful to the many people who worked to ensure a safe Crew-5 launch despite the recent hurricane so the crew can fulfill their mission to the orbiting laboratory.” (ANI)