NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Reached International Space Station

NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Reached International Space Station

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, into orbit to begin a six-month science mission on the space station.

Fremont, CA: NASA's SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts have launched into orbit after an early morning release bound for the International Space Station for the second commercial crew rotation flight aboard the microgravity laboratory. The international crew took off at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida's Launch Complex 39A.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, along with JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, into orbit to begin a six-month science mission on the space station.

During Crew Dragon's launch, SpaceX will order the spacecraft from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California, and NASA teams will oversee space station operations from the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Around 5:10 a.m. Saturday, April 24, the Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Endeavour, docked autonomously to the forward port of the station's Harmony module. NASA Television, the NASA App, and the agency's website are all providing live coverage of the docking, hatch opening, and ceremony welcoming the crew aboard the orbital outpost.

Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet are expected to join the Expedition 65 crew of Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins, and Mark Vande Hei of NASA, as well as Soichi Noguchi of JAXA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. For a short period, the size of the crew on the space station will increase to 11 people until Crew-1 astronauts Walker, Glover, Hopkins, and Noguchi return a few days later.

This is the second commercial crew flight in which a JAXA astronaut can fly. It will be the first time two JAXA astronauts are on station at the same time when Hoshide joins astronaut Noguchi during the commercial crew handover phase.

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