NASA has announced that their Crew-5 mission, which will bring astronauts to the International Space Station, will launch on Tuesday, August 20, 2018. The crew consists of NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, as well as the first Russian cosmonaut to fly in space since 2011, Alexander Skvortsov. The Crew-5 mission will launch aboard SpaceX’s crewed version of its Dragon capsule, which was developed in partnership with NASA. It is scheduled to take flight at 7:47 PM ET from Launch Pad 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Elon Musk’s business SpaceX continued its steady pace of crewed flights on Wednesday by launching four passengers to the International Space Station from Florida.
The group will go to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA’s Crew-5 mission for a six-month stay in space. This mission marks SpaceX’s eighth human spaceflight in a little more than two years and the company’s fifth operational crew launch for NASA to date.
“You got three rookies that are quite thrilled to be floating in space right now,” NASA astronaut and Crew-5 commander Nicole Mann said after the spaceship entered orbit. “That was a pleasant journey uphill.”
Soon after noon ET, Crew-5 took off, beginning their envisioned 29-hour trek to dock with the ISS. With this flight, SpaceX has now flown 30 astronauts, including both government and commercial missions, since its first crewed launch in May 2020.
The astronauts were launched in SpaceX’s Endurance Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket. The capsule and rocket are both reusable.
After recently flying the Crew-3 mission to and from the ISS, Endurance is making its second trip into orbit.
Crew-5 transports NASA astronauts Mann and Josh Cassada, astronaut Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and cosmonaut Anna Kikina from Roscosmos are the four astronauts.
Kikina became the first Russian cosmonaut to fly with SpaceX and the first to launch on a U.S. spacecraft since 2002 according to a “seat exchange” arrangement between NASA and Roscosmos.
As a competitor to Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft in NASA’s competitive Commercial Crew programme, SpaceX built its Crew Dragon spacecraft and improved its Falcon 9 rocket. But because to expensive delays, the launch of operational Starliner flights has been delayed while Boeing’s capsule is still under construction.
In an unprecedented move, NASA switched both of the astronauts going on Wednesday from Boeing to SpaceX last year.
Boeing now only has six NASA crew mission contracts, whereas SpaceX has 14 contracts.