SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launches Four Astronauts on NASA’s Crew-2 Mission

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts are in orbit after their morning launch to the Worldwide House Station for the second industrial crew rotation mission aboard the microgravity laboratory. The worldwide crew of astronauts took off at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday from Launch Complicated 39A at NASA’s Kennedy House Middle in Florida.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propels the Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, together with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Company) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European House Company) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, into orbit to start a six-month science mission on the area station.


Throughout the Crew Dragon flight, SpaceX will lead the spacecraft from its mission management heart in Hawthorne, California, and the NASA workforce will monitor area station operations throughout flight from the Mission Management Middle on the Johnson House Middle in Houston.

Launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission from the Kennedy House Middle in Florida. The SpaceX Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 rockets carry off at 5:49 a.m. EDT on April 23, 2021, from the 39A Kennedy Launch Complicated. Crew Dragon will take NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European House Company (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet to the Worldwide House Station for a six-month science mission as a part of NASA’s Business Crew Program. . Credit score: NASA

“This has been a unprecedented yr for NASA and our Business Crew Program, with a crew of three launching to the area station since final Might,” mentioned NASA Appearing Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “That is one other necessary milestone for NASA, SpaceX, and our worldwide companions at ESA and JAXA, and for the way forward for scientific analysis on the area station. It will likely be an thrilling second to see our crew greet one another on the station for our first crew handover beneath the Business Crew Program.”

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavor, will dock autonomously to the port in entrance of the station’s Concord module at roughly 05:10 a.m. Saturday, April 24. NASA Tv, the NASA App, and the company’s web site present ongoing stay protection through docking, hatch opening, and crew welcoming ceremonies at orbital outposts.

“I am very pleased with the SpaceX workforce and honored to be partnering with NASA and serving to JAXA and ESA as effectively,” mentioned Elon Musk, Chief Engineer at SpaceX. “We’re excited to be part of the development of human spaceflight and look ahead to going past Earth’s orbit to the Moon and Mars and serving to to make humanity a space-traveling civilization and multi-planet species sooner or later.”

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the Worldwide House Station is able to launch. Be a part of NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA), and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European House Company) as they discuss in regards to the prospect of flying of their new spacecraft, their six-month area mission. they’ve ready, and the long run in outer area they’re serving to to construct. Credit score: NASA

The Crew-2 mission is the second of six NASA and SpaceX manned missions to fly as a part of the company’s Business Crew Program. This mission has a number of firsts, together with:

  • First industrial crewed mission to fly two worldwide companions;
  • The primary industrial crew handover between astronauts on the area station as Crew-1 and Crew-2 astronauts will spend about 5 days collectively on the station earlier than Crew-1 returns to Earth;
  • First reuse of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket on crewed missions – Crew Dragon Endeavor flew the historic Demo-2 mission and Falcon 9 flew astronauts on the Crew-1 mission; and,
  • The primary time two industrial crewed spacecraft will dock on the station on the identical time.

“After I noticed the launch, I instantly considered what it took to succeed in this milestone and the dedication of everybody who made it occur,” mentioned Steve Stich, supervisor of NASA’s Business Crew Program. “There’s nonetheless a protracted technique to go, however now we are able to rejoice the launch of Crew-2 and look ahead to seeing them be part of the remainder of the Expedition 65’s companions as we put together to convey Crew-1 house subsequent week.”

Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet can be joined by Expedition 65 crew Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Mark Vande Hei of NASA, in addition to Soichi Noguchi of JAXA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. For a short while, the crew on the area station will develop to 11 folks till Crew-1 astronauts Walker, Hopkins, Glover, and Noguchi return a number of days later.

That is the second industrial crew mission to fly JAXA astronauts. When Hoshide joins astronauts Noguchi through the industrial crew handover interval, it’ll mark the primary time two JAXA astronauts have been on the station on the identical time.

“I’m very honored to witness at this time’s profitable launch. I’m very glad and in addition for Japan that Japanese astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Aki Hoshide boarded the Crew Dragon operational spacecraft twice in a row,” mentioned Hiroshi Sasaki, Vice President of Human Spaceflight and House Exploration. “I consider that is because of the shut cooperation that has existed for a few years amongst worldwide companions, particularly between the US and Japan by means of the ISS program. I hope that Aki will play an integral function as commander of Japan’s second ISS collectively along with his fellow astronauts, creating fruitful outcomes and increasing human borders to the Moon Gate, the lunar floor and even past.”

Crew-2 was additionally the primary industrial crewed mission to fly ESA astronauts. Pesquet was the primary of three ESA crew members assigned to fly to the station on a industrial crewed spacecraft, initiating steady visits by ESA astronauts on the area station for a couple of yr and a half – in whole – for the primary time in additional than 20 years. yr.

“That is an thrilling time for human spaceflight and this new Business Crew Program success makes it occur – congratulations once more to NASA and SpaceX,” mentioned David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration at ESA. “Beginning with astronaut Thomas Pesquet, ESA is delighted to affix this new area station, paving the way in which to the way forward for side-by-side exploration with quite a lot of companions. Six months of demonstrations of probably the most superior science and know-how now await him, and we all know he cannot wait to get to work.”

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