SpaceX’s most worldwide crew of astronauts but arrived at their launch web site Friday.
By coincidence, their flight to the Worldwide Area Station is ready for subsequent Thursday—Earth Day. It is a reminder of NASA’s core mission of learning the house planet, the area company’s performing administrator Steve Jurczyk stated as he welcomed the astronauts to Kennedy Area Heart.
The three males and one lady symbolize the U.S., France and Japan: NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet and Akihiko Hoshide, all skilled area fliers.
“It is positively getting actual,” Kimbrough, the spacecraft commander, stated after arriving by aircraft from Houston.
This might be SpaceX’s third launch of astronauts in lower than a yr, and the primary to make use of a recycled Falcon rocket and Dragon crew capsule. NASA turned to U.S. personal firms for crew transport after the area shuttle program led to 2011.
“Definitely, I feel all of them, till we get a number of years underneath our belt, needs to be thought-about take a look at flights,” Kimbrough informed reporters.
SpaceX makes use of the identical type of rocket and related capsules for provide deliveries, and recycles these as effectively.
McArthur is the one member of the crew who has but to go to the area station. She flew the shuttle to the Hubble Area Telescope in 2009. And launching out of Kennedy is new to Pesquet after greater than 11 years as an astronaut.
“We’re residing within the golden age of human spaceflight,” stated Pesquet, a former Air France pilot. “Appears to be like like all people, each nation, has a undertaking or a spacecraft.”
The astronauts left the runway in a pair of white gull-winged Teslas; SpaceX founder Elon Musk additionally runs the electrical automotive firm. They’d an early bedtime to sync up with what might be just about an all-nighter Thursday. Liftoff time is 6:11 a.m.
The 4 will substitute the SpaceX crew that launched final November. These 4 will return to Earth on the finish of April. A recent three-person Soyuz crew, in the meantime, arrived on the area station final week from Kazakhstan, changing two Russians and one American due again on Earth this weekend.
SpaceX, NASA give ‘go’ for astronaut launch, third for Dragon
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SpaceX’s subsequent crew arrives in Florida for Earth Day launch (2021, April 16)
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