Editor’s Note: This version was updated on May 3, 2021 to clarify that the Crew1 / Crew2 handover will mark the first time that two long-term JAXA astronauts have boarded the space station at the same time.
NASA SpaceX Crew2 astronauts went to the International Space Station after launch early in the morning to conduct the second commercial crew rotation mission in the microgravity laboratory. At 5:49 a.m. ET on Friday, international astronauts lifted off from Launch Site 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide
and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut
ThomasPesquet pushed together Crew Dragon spacecraft in orbit for a six month space station science mission.
During the Crew Dragon flight, SpaceX will command the spacecraft from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California, and the NASA team will monitor the operation of the space station from the mission control center of the agency at the Johnson Space Center in Houston throughout the flight. Happening.
“This is an incredible year for NASA and our commercial crew program. Since May last year, there have been three manned launches to the space station,” said NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk . “This is another important milestone for NASA, SpaceX, our international partners in ESA and JAXA, and the future of scientific research on the space station. Seeing our staff greet each other on the space station for the first time under the Commercial Crew Program The handover of staff will be an exciting time. “The Crew Dragon spacecraft
, named Endeavour, will automatically dock at the front port of the space station’s Harmony Compartment. Saturday, April 24th at around 5:10 am. Reported through the docking, hatch opening and the crew welcome ceremony at the
orbital outpost “I am very proud of the SpaceX team and honored to work with NASA and help JAXA and ESA as well,” SpaceX chief engineer Elon Musk said. “We are very happy to be part of the advancement of human space flight, and hope that one day beyond the orbit of the Earth to reach the moon and Mars, and help humans become a space civilization and multi-planetary species.” The
Crew2 mission is NASA and SpaceX will be part of the agency’s commercial crew program The second of the six manned missions performed. The mission has several firsts, including:
flight of commercial crew missions of two international partners;
first commercial crew transfer between astronauts on the space station, because before Crew1 returned to Earth, Crew1 and Crew2 astronauts Will spend about 5 days together on the space station;
Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket are used repeatedly for the first time in a manned mission: Crew Dragon Endeavour performed the historic Demo 2 mission, and Falcon 9 carries aerospace For the first time, the two commercial manned spacecraft and
will be docked at the space station at the same time.
“When I saw a launch, I immediately thought of what it would take to reach this milestone and the dedication of everyone who made it possible,” said Steve Stitch, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Manager. “Obviously there is still a long way to go, but now we can celebrate the release of Crew2, and we look forward to seeing you join your other Expedition 65 colleagues, because we are preparing to bring Crew1 home next week.”
Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide and Pesquet will join the expedition 65 crew consisting of Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins,
Victor Glover and Mark Vande Hei, and JAXA’s Soichi Noguchi and Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. In a short period of time, the number of crew on the space station will increase to 11, until Crew1 astronauts Walker, Hopkins, Glover and Noguchi return in a few days.
This is the commercial crew’s second mission to pilot JAXA astronauts. When Hoshide joins astronaut Noguchi during the commercial crew handover, it will be the first time that two long-term JAXA astronauts will be on their feet at the same time.
“It is a great honor to witness the successful launch today. Japanese astronauts Soichi Noguchi and Aki Hoshide board the Crew Dragon spacecraft twice in a row. It is a great honor for me and Japan,” said Vice President of Manned Space and Space Exploration. . Hiroshi Sasaki said. “I believe this is the result of many years of close cooperation between international partners, especially the United States and Japan through the International Space Station program. I hope that Aki will play an indispensable role as the second commander of the Japanese International Space Station and his fellow astronauts, generate fruitful results and expand the frontier of humanity to the lunar portal, the lunar surface and beyond.
Crew2 is also the first manned commercial mission to transport ESA astronauts. Pesquet is the first of three ESA crew members assigned to a commercial manned spacecraft, allowing ESA astronauts to remain on the space station continuously. It is the first time in more than 20 years.
“This is an exciting time for manned spaceflight, and this new success of the manned commercial program reflects this – again congratulations to NASA and SpaceX,” said David Parker, Director of Human and Robot Exploration at ESA. “Starting with astronaut Thomas Pesquet, ESA is delighted to join this new chapter of the space station, paving the way for the future of exploration together with different partners. Six months of excellent scientific and state-of-the-art demonstrations await, and we know he is eager to get to work
Shane Kimbrough is the commander of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Crew2 mission. Kimbrough is responsible for all phases of flight from launch to reentry. He will also serve as an Expedition 65 flight engineer at the station. Selected as a NASA astronaut in 2004, Kimbru