SpaceX Crew-2 Mission Flying Next Week With Four American and Foreign Astronauts

SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts 1 photo
Photo: SpaceX
Having proved its worth as a means of transportation to the International Space Station, the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is now entering business-as-usual operations over in Florida.
Initially scheduled for April 20, the Crew Dragon's second rotation flight now targets Thursday, April 22 for take-off. NASA plans to launch the capsule on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center at 6:11 a.m. EDT.

This mission will mark the first time a NASA commercial crew capsule is taking up not only American astronauts, but also two foreigners into orbit. On behalf of NASA, mission astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur will climb on board, accompanied by Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency (ESA).

The people taking part in this mission, scheduled to end in the fall of this year, will arrive at the space station at a very busy time. Already up there are the members of the Crew-1, who will continue to stay in orbit until early May.

Despite these large mission intervals, NASA is already hard at work preparing the Crew-3 and 4 missions, with the latter planned no sooner than next year.

Traffic from Earth to the International Space Station is about to increase in the coming years. Aside from the SpaceX Crew Dragon, the space agency will also make use of the Boeing Starliner capsule, currently still being tested. These two are meant to be short-distance haulers, but there is a third capsule in the works, the Orion, which will be used to send people much farther away to the Moon.

The next week will also mark another important moment for NASA, as engineers will once again try to take the Ingenuity helicopter to the air on Mars.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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