SpaceX capsule carrying 4 astronauts docks with International Space Station

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Nov 11 (Businesshala) – Four astronauts, three from NASA and one from the European Space Agency, arrived at the International Space Station on Thursday and docked their SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule with the orbiting laboratory to begin a six-month science mission .

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The team and its capsule met nearly 21 hours after being launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, postponing liftoff for a week on Wednesday night following a weather delay. Given. Half.

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The docking took place at approximately 6:30 a.m. EST (2330 GMT) while the Crew Dragon vehicle, called Endurance, and the space station were flying about 260 miles (420 km) above the eastern Caribbean Sea, according to NASA.

The Endurance crew includes three American NASA astronauts – Flight Commander Raja Chari, 44, Mission Pilot Tom Marshburn, 61, and Mission Specialist Kayla Barone, 34 – as well as German Astronaut Mathias Maurer, 51, a mission specialist for the European Space Agency. . ,

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Upon arrival, the crew conducted a series of standard leak checks and pressurized the space between the spacecraft in preparation for opening the hatch for the space station.

The astronauts will be welcomed aboard the orbiting outpost by her three current occupants — Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitsky — and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who flew Soyuz with her Roscosmos crew to the space station earlier this year. was shared.

Among the newcomers are two members of NASA’s latest graduating class of astronauts who are also active-duty military personnel — Chari, a US Air Force fighter jet and test pilot, and Barron, a US Navy submarine officer and nuclear engineer.

Endeavour’s second-in-command is veteran astronaut Marshburn, a medical doctor and former NASA flight surgeon who has logged the last two spaceflights to the space station and four spacewalks.

Rounding out the crew is Maurer, a materials science engineer who likes Chari and Barron making their first flight into space.

Both Chari and Barron are among the first group of 18 astronauts selected for NASA’s upcoming Artemis mission, which aims to return humans to the Moon more than half a century after the Apollo lunar program ends at the end of this decade. Is.

The astronaut team that arrived Thursday was officially designated “Crew 3” — the third full-blown “operational” crew that NASA and SpaceX have flown to the space station together after a two-astronaut test run in May 2020 .

“Crew 2” returned safely to Earth on Monday from the space station in the Gulf of Mexico from Florida with a splashdown, setting a record 199 days in orbit.

SpaceX, a California-based company created in 2002 by billionaire Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O), has recorded a total of 15 manned space flights over 17 months, including its astro-tourism launch in September. The first all-civilian crew to be sent into Earth orbit without professional astronauts.

Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Cooney

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