Four more astronauts are expecting their launch into orbit by the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA is aiming to launch the Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station on April 22.
There will be familiar hardware that will help the new crew get off this rock. “The Falcon 9 that will be used to launch this mission uses the same amplifier as NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1, which is the first time that a flight-proven amplifier will be used for a manned launch,” NASA said in a statement.
NASA TV will broadcast live the launch, which will take place at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event is scheduled for 3:11 a.m. PT on Thursday, April 22, and it will take approximately one day to get to the station.
NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough will be joined by Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Space Agency. All four were already in space, which led to that Pesquet for a tweet in March, “I don’t mean to show off, but this crew may have the most combined experience in the history of spaceflight!”
SpaceX and NASA are entering the usual phase of their partnership in the commercial crew program. The early test flights went well as wellit went smoothly. Crew-2 marks the crew’s second flight for Crew Dragon and the first with two international partner astronauts.
NASA expects a crash on the launch of the Crew-3 mission, which could take off as early as October 23rd. Crew-2 should return to Earth shortly thereafter.
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